It has become an annual tradition. Once again, First Unitarian Church of Orlando was among a number of Unitarian Universalist congregations from around Florida to join in the spring event of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). Together we are asking corporations such a Publix and Wendy’s to sign on to the Fair Food Agreement. The Agreement helps to ensure a living wage and safe working environment for those who harvest the food that comes to our tables.
A commitment to ethical eating means looking at where our food comes from. Those of us in Florida found that we did not need to look far to find areas for improvement. Poverty, wage theft, sexual harassment, and even modern day slavery have been a reality in the fields of Florida. This innovative program of the CIW offers an alternative based on dignity and respect, freedom and justice.
This year’s event was a parade and concert in St. Pete. We celebrated the progress made and lifted up the work still ahead. In addition to the contingent from Orlando, the event drew Unitarian Universalists from Naples, Ft. Myers, Port Charlotte, Venice, St. Pete, Tampa, Clearwater, and Gainesville. (Our combined group was bracketed by our two Standing on the Side of Love banners.)
For the second year in a row, First Unitarian Church of Orlando, had a matching grant from the Standing on the Side of Love program allowing us to offer bus transport to the event to members as well as allied community groups.
The parade featured many diverse faith and justice groups. We were led, as is fitting, by the children. For them, may we continue the struggle for the better world we know is possible!