Finding a community where one’s cause becomes a cog in the machine of positive social change is extremely important for progress we can be proud of. The experience I had tabling for YAYA-NFWM at the Central Florida AFL-CIO Labor Council Labor Day Picnic exemplified exactly that. Tables supporting great causes related to labor surrounded the enclosed tree-filled picnic area at Lake Eola. The day was sunny and warm. Locals and activist alike walked from table to table, some curious, some already informed, wanting to know more about what each table and cause present was doing. Representing YAYA-NFWM at this Labor Day event was Nico, Stephanie I., Heather, and me (along with the next-door-table support from Jonathan). It was really great to table with them.
It feels good to know that there are people working towards a good cause, especially on a holiday where most people are enjoying the sun and BBQ. Thankfully, we got to enjoy the sun and free BBQ (thanks to Bubbalou’s Bodacious BBQ), while at the same time informing people about YAYA-NFWM. The people that stopped at our table were very open and receptive to our message. Some made sure to take stickers and information with them. We spotted one person in the crowd wearing a YAYA t-shirt they bought the year before, that same person made sure to get our attention in order to show us their shirt. That was definitely a really nice moment showing the continuity and support of YAYA-NFWM initiatives.
About 20 people signed up and we received some monetary donations. Having a presence in these sort of community events is very important for our cause because it creates awareness that is necessary for us to inform people about farm worker issues and how it relates to them through food production for their consumption—something people don’t usually think about. The solidarity and support that I experienced at the Labor Day Picnic were really inspiring. I thoroughly enjoyed the sense of community at the event and hope to table at many more events for YAYA-NFWM.