SAF: 20 Years of Growing Farmworker Activists

SAF History 1992 - Today

SAF 2011 ITF Interns & SSC Fellows

SAF 2011 ITF Interns & SSC Fellows


SAF continues to provide resources such as workshops, trainings, and materials about farmworkers to campuses and organizations throughout the country. Since 1992, SAF has prioritized working with young people from farmworker families and more than half of their student participants come from farmworker backgrounds today. After students have completed programs, SAF provides them with resources about longer term social justice internships and alternative career options. SAF alumni carry their experience with them as they pursue careers in law, medicine, community organizing, primary health care, teaching, and ministry. The 20 year history of SAF includes a great number of accomplishments and awards:

A picture of graffiti on Duke campus advertising farmworker awareness week.

Graffiti on Duke campus advertising farmworker awareness week.

SAF Intern doing outreach and education.

SAF intern doing outreach and education.

Group of Levante students for SAF

Group of Levante students for SAF.

Picture of SAF Into the fields intern meeting with a farmworker.

SAF Into the fields intern meeting with a farmworker.

SAF intern examining farmworker

SAF intern examining a farmworker.

Into the fields-scrapbook page

Into the fields - scrapbook page

Into the fields intern from SAF-out in the fields.

Into the fields intern from SAF, out in the fields.

SAF into the fields intern at work.

SAF into the fields intern at work.

1993  SAF received a three-year grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service to expand the program to include ten regional colleges and universities. Each school had a faculty program director and a student campus coordinator who were responsible for recruiting students for the farmworker class and summer internship.

1994  SAF expanded to increase participation of students from farmworker families by recruiting through College Assistance Migrant Programs.

1996  SAF was awarded the first Peace Prize from the North Carolina Peace Corps Association for helping people to help themselves, and promoting peace and cross-cultural understanding.

1997  SAF was recognized by the Migrant Health Program of the Bureau of Primary Health Care for dedication and commitment to migrant farmworkers and their families.

1998 & 2000  SAF was awarded the Fund for Southern Communities' Helen's Fund Award for work with young people in the South.

2003  SAF was awarded a Defenders of Justice Award from the North Carolina Justice and Community Development Center for its work fighting against poverty in the area of grassroots empowerment. SAF Executive Director Melinda Wiggins was awarded the first NC Community Shares Leadership Award for her long-term commitment to supporting Shares' and its member social justice organizations.

2004  SAF was awarded a Promising Practices Award by the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina.

2005  SAF received an Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award for its role engaging a new generation of activists through the annual Student Labor Week of Action. SAF received the Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award from World Hunger Year for its innovative, creative approaches to fighting hunger and poverty in the U.S.

2007  SAF Executive Director, Melinda Wiggins, was awarded Outstanding Adult Ally/Mentor for Young Nonprofit Workers for developing the leadership of young people, many of whom have chosen to continue working in the social sector as a result.  SAF received the NCYT Spark Award for Outstanding Non-Profit for its workplace culture, emphasis on anti-oppression work, and creative organizing strategies.  The Farmworker Advocacy Network (SAF is a member) won the Policy Research and Advocacy Defenders of Justice Award from the NC Justice Center.

2008  SAF won the Community Partner Award from the APPLES Service Learning Program at UNC- Chapel Hill.

2009  SAF received the 2009 Nonprofit Sector Stewardship Award, given out annually by the NC Center for Nonprofits.

2010  SAF won Glaxo Smith Kline's 2nd Annual Impact Award in recognition of outstanding achievements in providing access to healthcare for the underserved.  SAF received $100,000 grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC Foundation in celebration of their 10th anniversary to further their impact, providing farmworkers with access to existing health care providers.

2012  SAF Executive Director, Melinda Wiggins, was awarded the White House Cesar Chavez Champions of Change Award. SAF was presented the NC Folklore Society Community Traditions Award.  

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