Conference Seeks to Motivate Students to Fight for Farm Worker Rights on Anniversary of Farm Worker Audon Felix Garcia’s Heat Death;
Featured Speaker Niece, Alma Felix
LOS ANGELES, CA – A youth conference to commemorate the death anniversary of fifteen farm workers who succumbed to heat-related illnesses while laboring in California fields since 1984, aims to bring awareness about the poor working conditions endured by those who put food on our tables.
The date of the conference coincides with the death of 42-year-old farm worker Audon Felix Garcia, who died a year ago after loading grapes under triple-digit temperatures. One of featured speakers will be his niece Alma, who will share her emotional story with the students and let them know how people taking action to prevent future deaths has helped her family deal with her uncle's preventable death. “I have made it now my personal mission to educate those who I cross paths with because I have learned that by educating/informing one person I have reached five.”
“Young people have always played a key role in social movements,” said Irv Hershenbaum, a UFW vice president. Hershenbaum, who will be a speaker at the Youth and Young Adults Conference on Farm Worker Rights, said the event also kicks off the UFW’s summer effort to educate youth about the plight of farm workers. He said the event hopes to encourage young people to get involved and take action to protect one of the most vulnerable segments of our society.
The event will also highlight the anniversary of three other farm workers deaths that have occurred between July 9 and July 14: Ramiro Carrillo Rodriguez, 48, who died July 10; Salud Zamudio-Rodriguez, 42, July 13, 2005 and Ramon Hernandez, 42, July 14, 2005.
“It is a tragedy that in 2009, many farm workers work in dangerous working conditions, often without water and shade,” said conference host and long-time farm worker rights activist Fr. Richard Estrada.
The youth conference will feature community leaders, educational workshops and an action plan to support farm workers. Following the mass there will be a vigil to commemorate the one year anniversary of Audon Felix’s heath death at the Los Angeles produce market, and then participants will go back to the church for a mass. The event is sponsored by La Placita Church located at 535 N. Main St, in Los Angeles. Lunch will be provided to pre-registered students.
Who: Guest speakers include, Alma Felix, niece of Audon Felix Garcia, who died due to heat on July 9, 2008. Dozens of high school and college students are expected to attend.
What: Youth and Young Adults Conference on Farm Worker Rights and vigil to commemorate the one year anniversary of farm workers’ Audon Felix Garcia’s heat death.
When: Thursday, July 9; Student Conference: 11:00 a.m. – 3:15; Vigil: 4:00 -4:45; Mass: 5:30.
Where: Conference and Mass: La Placita Church, 535 N. Main St., Los Angeles, CA (close to Union Station and Olvera Street)
Vigil: LA Produce market is located at Olympic --one block west of Alameda (Olympic & McGarry)