SAF: 20 Years of Growing Farmworker Activists


Image of farmers and protesters in drawing.

SAF sticker

Exhibit Opening

An opening reception for the exhibits will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 20, in the Biddle Rare Book Room in the Perkins Library on Duke’s West Campus. The reception, which will feature Latin American food and live music, is free and open to the public. There will be a short panel discussion including Bruce Payne and Rosalva Soto.

Duke Hosts Community Discussion on Immigration and Human Rights 

November 12, 2012

North Carolina has a long history of support and activism on behalf of immigrant communities. But only recently have immigrant activists begun to view their work from a human rights perspective.  That will be the topic of a community discussion on immigration and human rights at 6:00 p.m., November 12, in the Rare Book Room of Duke’s Perkins Library. “Harvesting a Legacy of Action: Immigration Activism and Human Rights” will feature a panel of experts discussing the challenges and possibilities of placing immigration activism within a human rights framework.

The panel will be moderated by Robin Kirk, co-director of the Duke Human Rights Center.  Panelists will include Irit Tamir, Senior Advocacy and Collaborations Advisor at Oxfam America; Ramon Zepeda, Youth Organizer for Student Action with Farmworkers and labor activist and organizer; and Paul Ortiz, History Professor at the University of Florida.

The panel discussion is part of a larger series of events around the state celebrating the 20th anniversary of Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF), a nonprofit organization that brings together students, community members, and farmworkers in the Southeast to work for justice in the agricultural system. What began as a small group of Duke Public Policy students documenting farmworker conditions has since grown to an independent nonprofit with a national impact. The organization’s papers are held by Duke’s Human Rights Archive in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Three exhibitions currently on display at the library explore the human experience of farmworkers and the history of SAF. The exhibits reflect historical and contemporary concerns with student activism, access to safe and healthy food, organized labor, and immigration. The exhibits run through December 9, 2012.

See "Documenting the Politics of Food: Photographs from the Rubenstein Library Collections," another of the companion digital exhibits in this series.

The exhibits and panel discussion are sponsored by SAF, the Duke University Libraries, the Center for Documentary Studies, the Franklin Humanities Institute BorderWorks Lab, the Duke University Service Learning Program, and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

More information can be found at or


Patrick Stawski
Human Rights Archivist

Joanna Welborn
SAF Assistant Director

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