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North Carolina's 18th Annual Farmworker Festival

on September 26, 2008

From sun up to sun down, Sunday, September 21st, 6,000 farmworkers, students, and community organizations gathered for North Carolina’s 18th Annual Farmworker Festival. Every September, Father Tony and the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry organize the largest farmworker festival in the state to appreciate and celebrate with their Tar Heel neighbors.

UNC-CH student group Alianza traveled an hour to Newton Grove, NC, home of the festival, to celebrate and lend a hand.  Members helped at food stands, completed surveys and together were able to help fund calling card awards given to the winning soccer team, allowing them a chance to talk with their families back home. 

With Father Tony refereeing the soccer tournament, carnival games for children, free simple health services, and music and food for all, everybody was able to take a break and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

Alianza is a student-run organization striving for farmworker justice with the most holistic approach possible in its young age. It is because of the pesticides being sprayed on human beings, the unbearable heat and hours causing workplace deaths, the sub-poverty wages, the ignorance to the reality, and so much more that Alianza exists.  The group started educating the campus and community in the fall of 2007 and has since grown tremendously.

The 2nd year group's goals aim to bring free health services to farmworkers, provide pesticide and legal rights education, expand community gardens providing workers free and healthy food options, and stay politically active to bring the most humane farmworker legislation to North Carolina.

To find out more, email Alianza Director Sam Wurzelmann at alianza@unc.edu.