Presented by: Carlos Marentes, Labor Rights/Human Rights Activist
About the presenter: Carlos Marentes has been a labor organizer and farm worker advocate since 1977. In 1983, he founded the Sin Fronteras Organizing Project to support efforts to improve the working and living conditions of migrant and seasonal farm workers of southern New Mexico and Far West Texas. Marentes is also the founder and director of the Border Agricultural Workers Project (BAWP), an effort to organize the farm workers of the US-Mexico border, especially the chile pickers, in the fields and in their communities on both sides of the border. Under the BAWP, Marentes initiated a campaign in the border region for food sovereignty to address the issues of oppression of farm workers and the climate crisis, as a way of promoting a new model of food production and food consumption. He also created the Bracero Project – an attempt to rebuild the history of the “braceros” – to bring justice to the Mexican peasants who worked in the US during the Bracero Program (1942-1964), and to use the experience of the Bracero Program to push for more humane and dignified immigration policies. He participates in many local, state, and national organizations that deal with issues of poverty and economic inequality, and he coordinates the International Committee on Migration and Rural Workers of La Vía Campesina and has attended many conferences and workshops in U.S. as well as in Mexico, Europe, India, South Africa and Southeast Asia, to advocate for migrant workers’ rights. Marentes has received extensive recognition and many awards, including the prestigious Letelier-Moffitt National Human Rights Award.