CWS was born in 1946, in the aftermath of World War II. Seventeen denominations came together to form an agency “to do in partnership what none of us could hope to do as well alone.” The mission: Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, comfort the aged, shelter the homeless.
More than 70 years later the mission remains, though where and how we accomplish it has changed dramatically.
In 1946-47, U.S. churches opened their hearts and provided more than 11 million pounds of food, clothing, and medical supplies to war-torn Europe and Asia. Protestants and Catholics pooled talent and resources to meet a staggering refugee crisis. Today the Immigration and Refugee Program of CWS is a vital, internationally-recognized operation, having resettled nearly half a million refugees since its inception.
IIC is a partnership of faith-based organizations committed to enacting fair and humane immigration reform that reflects our mandate to welcome the stranger and treat all human beings with dignity and respect. Coalition members work together to advocate for just and equitable immigration policies, educate faith communities, and serve immigrant populations around the country
SWGSM was founded in 1985 in Los Fresnos, Texas, to provide assistance to hundreds of people in need, especially the Central American political refugees, Cubans, and individuals from other countries in political turmoil. SWGSM is now a member institution of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the Southwest Region.
The mission of Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries is to teach the love of Jesus Christ by building a renewed sense of wholeness and dignity and by standing with those who are broken, especially among refugees and those who are disenfranchised and displaced. The Good News of salvation is lived out by addressing spiritual and material needs, including emergency shelter and food, clothing, transportation, legal aid, advocacy and job referral through a cooperative effort with other agencies and religious organizations.
NFWM is a faith based organization which supports farm workers as they organize for justice and empowerment. NFWM began in 1920 as a ministry of charity and service, providing food, clothing and day care to the farm workers. When United Farm Workers founder Cesar Chavez began organizing in the 1960’s, he called on the religious community to change its emphasis from charity to justice. NFWM became the vehicle for people of faith to respond to that call. NFWM brings together national denominations, state councils of churches, religious orders and congregations, and concerned individuals to act with the farm workers to achieve fundamental change in their living and working conditions. Click here for a brochure in Spanish.
Grounded in faith, NFWM works side by side with farm workers throughout the country, organizing vigils, picketing, coordinating boycotts and educating constituents.
“Without the religious support it would have been impossible to win our campaigns…the presence of NFWM has proved critical in many areas.” Arturo Rodriguez, President, United Farm Workers.
NFWM supports a number of campaigns via various farm worker unions and associations. In order to keep supporters informed of the changing dynamics of each campaign, they have provided campaign packets in a downloadable format for you to use within your community. As new victories are won and new strategies are embraced, they will update the materials and indicate so on the NFWM website and social media outlets.
Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) Campaign for Fair Food
CIW is a grassroots organization based in Immokalee, Florida that works on improving the wages and labor conditions of its members, who are primarily tomato pickers, as well as bringing attention to cases of modern-day slavery.
CIW’s campaign focuses on bringing giant fast food corporations, supermarkets, food providers and the tomato industry to act as responsible corporations throughout their supply chains, and on fighting against modern day slavery in the fields of Florida.
Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) Reynolds Tobacco Campaign
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, based in North Carolina, is the second-largest tobacco company in the United States, manufacturing about one of every three cigarettes sold in the country.
While big tobacco corporations make billions, tobacco farm workers live in poverty, face racism, harassment, nicotine poisoning, lethal pesticides, miserable housing in labor camps and denial of basic human rights and labor protections. For instance, due to lack of mandatory water breaks for farm workers and the fact that nicotine increases body temperature, tobacco farm workers are at great risk of heatstroke. In the past decade, nine farm workers have died in North Carolina, many of heatstroke.
The United Farm Workers was founded by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, is the largest farm worker union in the United States. Through nonviolent tactics such as boycotts, pickets, and strikes, the UFW brought the struggles of farm workers out of the fields and into cities and towns across the country. This movement of farm workers organizing for better pay and safer working conditions has continued to grow since 1962. Currently, the UFW organizes in major agricultural industries nationwide and continues to win contracts for worker protections.
Summary of Five Agricultural Labor Relations Board complaints and two rulings against Gerawan
In a blistering new 28 page complaint —similar to an indictment —the chief prosecutor for the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board detailed how the United Farm Workers’ renewed attempt to win a union contract with Gerawan Farming “in October 2012 sparked an intensive and ongoing campaign by Gerawan to undermine the UFW’s status as its employees bargaining representative; to turn it employees against the union; to promote decertification of the UFW; and to prevent the UFW from ever representing its employees under a collective bargaining agreement.” (Remember, these aren’t charges against Gerawan from the UFW; they are from the state of California following extensive investigations by state agents.)
Support Familias Unidas por la Justicia
Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ), an independent farm worker union (recognized by the WA State Labor Council AFL-CIO) based in Burlington, Washington, formed in the summer of 2013 in response to racial harassment, wage theft, and other unjust labor practices faced by farm workers at the Sakuma Bros. Farms in the Skagit valley.
Familias Unidas called a boycott of Sakuma Bros. Farm berries in 2013; in 2014 adding boycotts of Driscoll’s and Häagen-Dazs strawberry ice cream, purchasers of the majority of Sakuma berries. In July 2015, the Board of National Farm Worker Ministry met in Washington with the farm workers of FUJ and then passed a resolution endorsing the boycott.
Refugees Are Welcome is a a coalition of humanitarian, religious, and non-profit organizations working together to create welcoming communities for refugees. In response to the increased attention around the Syrian refugee crisis in particular and the recent increase in hateful, anti-refugee political rhetoric, we created this initiative, bringing together diverse allies to show that communities, businesses, faith communities, and political leaders across the United States are ready to welcome all refugees, regardless of their country of origin, religion, or ethnic group.