Connect with SFA!

Bookmark and Share

2009 SFA Encuentro

It's a wrap! Thanks to everyone who joined us at this year's Encuentro and helped make it possible. Click here for a photo report (coming soon) & info on our our upcoming action plans.

  • Click below for the Encuentro resources packet (a.k.a. the "digital binder"):
  • Click here for the background reading packet from this year's Encuentro
  • Click here for a "farmworker movement bibliography" (or visit this page)

September 10-13, 2009 | Immokalee, Florida

Thanks for making plans to join us at the 5th-annual SFA Encuentro. In just about every way imaginable, the Encuentro is more than a conference. It is, instead, an immersion visit of sorts -- a long weekend intended to provide those of us in the SFA network the opportunity to connect with one another, deepen our work in partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, further develop our commitment to this struggle, and increase our consciousness of the state of our world and our shared work for social justice -- all in Immokalee, the birthplace of the Campaign for Fair Food and home to one of the most inspiring and successful workers' movements of our times.

Before arriving in Immokalee, don't forget to look over the packet of Encuentro background readings (available here) and check out the important info below:

Registration | Program | Logistics | Background


2008 Encuentro

Click here to complete your registration by paying the $50-$150 sliding scale fee online: Just select the amount you're able to contribute (don't forget to add an additional $10 donation if you requested a hard copy of the Encuentro binder) and fill in your information. (You can also bring cash or a check or money order made out to "Student/Farmworker Alliance.")

The registration fee funds scholarships for participants who would otherwise not be able to attend and helps cover expenses such as food, housing, materials, meeting space, & transportation: we wouldn't ask for the money if we didn't truly need it. As a gesture of solidarity and commitment to the movement, we're asking individuals and organizations to fundraise as much as possible to cover the costs of attending the Encuentro. Check out this fundraising guide for some ideas and tips.

Program highlights

2009 Encuentro:
Thursday night (9/10) thru Sunday morning (9/13)

• "Consciousness + Commitment = Change:" a discussion with the CIW
......... + Immokalee walking tour
• "SFA: who we are & how we roll"
......... + Concurrent veterans/alumni track
Skill-building workshops:
..........+ "Organizing 101:" Campus organizing & campaign development
..........+ "Organizing 201:" Working with the media, getting the word out
......... + Greenwashing, "social responsibility," and real sustainability
..........+ How to give a presentation about the campaign
......... + Strategic corporate research
• Solidarity Discussion: Linking our struggles & fighting oppression

• Strategy sessions: Dine with Dignity/Campaign for Fair Food
..........+ Campaign update, analysis and escalation
......... + Campaign strategy: national, regional, on-campus:
................- Aramark, Sodexo, Chipotle & supermarkets
..........+ SFA network/organizational development
• Fair Food Across Borders
• "Cafe Cultura:" party, music, & sharing our struggles through culture

• "Bringing it all together:" Concrete goals and commitments
• Food sovereignty & food justice in the 21st century


We'll coordinate transportation from the airport to Immokalee and vice versa - be on the lookout for the pickup schedule arriving via email. After landing at Ft. Myers, head downstairs, through the glass doors, and walk to your right until you reach the end of the waiting area - we'll pick you up there.

Housing & meals will be provided for the entire Encuentro (Thursday night through Sunday morning). Most housing will be gender-neutral floor space. If you need a bed or sofa for health reasons, please let us know.

What to bring:

  • Your energy and your willingness to contribute, be challenged, learn, and have fun.
  • Your commitment to take the campaign back to your community. Rather than a general activist conference, the Encuentro is a training & strategy opportunity for folks committed to working on CIW/SFA-led campaigns over the next year and beyond.
  • Musical instruments, art, poetry; flyers & literature (and merchandise) from other struggles to share; washable bowl, cup and utensils.
  • Sleeping bag and pillow (plus sleeping pad if you need one to be comfortable), towel and personal items; your registration fee (in cash, check or money order), a bit of spending money for the trip & for your very own SFA t-shirts.
  • Do not bring any illicit drugs or alcohol: you will be asked to leave if any is found in your possession.

Volunteering: Participants will be broken up into "familias" (small groups) and each familia will have at least one shift volunteering on basic tasks to help keep our dishes and meeting spaces clean, our meals coming on time, and the weekend running smoothly overall.

If you have experience with food prep or cooking for large groups and would like to help the food team, please contact us.

(back to top)


  • Click here to download the packet of Encuentro background readings

Following a season that brought two more victories in the Campaign for Fair Food (Subway & Bon Appétit), the launch of the Dine with Dignity campaign and, most recently, news of 2 Florida growers' commitment to work with Whole Foods to pass the penny per pound to tomato pickers, this Encuentro is set to be our most important ever -- will YOU be there?

This September 10-13, one of our most important traditions will continue as students and youth from across the SFA network converge in Immokalee, Florida — the birthplace of one of the most successful movements for dignity and justice that our generation has seen — for the 5th-annual SFA Encuentro: an in-depth weekend of relationship-building, training, strategizing and reflection. The opportunity to meet face-to-face at this year's Encuentro will be integral to our organizing as we map out how to take the campaign to new heights and how to make SFA a stronger and more sustainable organization as it approaches its 10-year anniversary. So come on out, whether you're an SFA "old-timer" or just beginning to get involved.

In addition to planning strategy and sharpening our organizing skills, we hope to provide a space for discussion and reflection about the nature and significance of our shared work in an age of corporate globalization, war, and empire. What are the meanings of solidarity and "alliance" in the 21st century? What are our global and local contexts, and what does this mean for our campaigns, strategies, and tactics? As always, we know the Encuentro will serve not only as an inspiration but as a springboard for action for social change throughout the next year and beyond!

A note on the application process: Due to limited resources and the logistical constraints of holding such a gathering in a place like Immokalee, we can only accept a limited number of participants. The application process ensures that those who attend the Encuentro are representative — in many senses of the word — of SFA and the campaign.

(back to top)


PO Box 603, Immokalee, FL 34143 :: (239) 657-8311 :: organize (at)