Harvesting the Fruits of Justice

Aurora Martin, Director

As I prepare to gather with my family this Thanksgiving week, I am humbled and grateful to be working towards a future where everyone has a seat at the table of justice. I am humbled because friends and families across the nation will gather to enjoy a bounty that is often harvested by immigrant workers who reap the food on our tables, yet still hunger for their share of fellowship and opportunity. I am grateful for the chance to stand with farm workers by helping them have their day in court--and for as many days as necessary--when they seek fair pay and the safer working conditions required by law. I am also thankful that you are part of the community that stands with us.

In October, Columbia Legal Services premiered a new short film, Fruits of Justice, which we produced. The film tells the story of a brave community movement here in Washington State. In 2013, a community of farm workers in Washington’s Skagit Valley organized as a unified voice and became Familias Unidas por la Justicia--Families United for Justice, to seek a living wage and fair treatment in the fields. When the company sought to thwart their organizing efforts, the workers joined with their families and community supporters, and responded with protests, boycotts, and social media to raise awareness. Over the past few years, we have worked alongside pro bono lawyers to help Familias Unidas achieve their goals in court and at the legal table. It is an ongoing effort, but the members of Familias Unidas have inspired us again and again with their resiliency against all odds.

This Thanksgiving, I hope you will join me in recognizing and honoring the many hardworking people who help make healthy food available for our families, and in envisioning a day when everyone has a seat at the table of justice.
Aurora Martin