January 19, 2018
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Migrant Workers Will Be the Topic of Holocaust & Human Rights Center of Maine Program

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AUGUSTA – Have you ever wondered about the people who work in the fields picking our apples, blueberries, and beans? Come learn about the plight of migrant workers and the important role they play in our food system.

The Holocaust & Human Rights Center of Maine’s (HHRC) fall discussion and event series on The Politics of Food will present a film and discussion on the role of migrant workers in our food system on Thursday, October 18th at noon and 7 p.m. at the Klahr Center on the University of Maine at Augusta campus.

The event will include a showing of Harvest of Dignity, a film created by the North Carolina Farm Worker Advocacy Network.

The film was inspired by Harvest of Sham, a documentary aired on CBS the day after Thanksgiving, 1960, and narrated by Edward R. Morrow. Harvest of Shame told the story of migrant workers in several places, including North Carolina and revealed to many for the first time the plight of the migrant worker. The documentary, which went on to win the Peabody Award, included the story of a farmer who said “we used to own our slaves. Now we just rent them.” In honor of the 50th anniversary of the ground breaking documentary, the North Carolina Farm Worker Advocacy Network joined with several other groups to create Harvest of Dignity, a look into the current state of the migrant worker. They found that in too many ways not much has changed. Following the film, we’ll hear about the experiences of migrant workers in Maine from Ricardo Cabezas, President of El Centro Latina de Maine, located in Portland. El Centro Latino Maine’s mission is to be the voice of the Latino community in Maine, celebrating Latino culture and history, defending dignity and longings, and also promoting and supporting any effort to improve quality of life, improve access to services and information and fight for laws that protect the rights of Latino people in Maine.

This interesting and informative program is free and open to the public, although donations are gladly accepted.

The event will be held at noon on Thursday, October 18th and repeated at 7 p.m. that evening at the Klahr Center, located on the campus of the University of Maine at Augusta.

The Harvest of Dignity program is part of a series of events this fall focusing on The Politics of Food. Other programs planned for the fall include:

From Farm to Table, Tuesday, October 23rd at 7 p.m – This program includes a viewing of MaineGeneral Health’s film Where Your Food Comes From Matters and a discussion with David Gulak, Manager of Barrell’s Community Market in Waterville, along with representatives of some of the local farmer’s markets.

Food Rationing in World War II, Tuesday, November 6th at 7 p.m. – Wait for the election results to start streaming in by spending some time learning about the sacrifices that everyone was asked to make to support the troops. A panel of historians and those who recall the days of rationed sugar and other key cooking ingredients will share memories of having to do without some things that many of us take for granted.
Alice Waters & Her Delicious Revolution, Tuesday, November 13th at 5:30 p.m. – Part of the American Masters series produced by PBS, Alice Waters, with her “delicious revolution” and now-famous Chez Panisse restaurant, has been a major force behind how Americans think about food, launching the explosion of local famer’s markets. She is an activist in both the environment and nutritional world, putting her ideas into action by planting organic gardens at an inner-city school, a state prison, and even the White House. This film is part of UMA’s year-long Food Films program.

The Big Night, Tuesday, December 4th at 12 p.m – In this family drama, two brothers, Primo and Secondo (Tony Shaloub and Stanley Tucci) gamble on one special night to try to save their business – a failing Italian restaurant. Rolling Stone called it “a feast of a film done on a low budget with a menu featuring top-grade acting, writing and direction.” This film is part of UMA’s year-long Food Films program.

The Dollars and Sense of Food, Tuesday, December 4th at 7 p.m. –What are the economics of the food we eat and how do our actions affect them? Join us for a lively and informative look at the economic forces that affect our food and food prices in central Maine and the ways that some people are trying to fight back to give us more local resources. The discussion will include Bonnie Rukin of Slow Money Maine, a new type of investment program, as well as local farmers and distributors who are using creative methods to get food to local customers.
Reflections on Food, Monday, December 10th at noon – Join the students of the DRA 106/COM 106 classes as they present monologues, scenes and stories about food. Bring your lunch and share in this lively and fun performance, followed by a discussion with the actors and their instructor, Jeri Pitcher.

All programs are free and open to the public. The programs are sponsored by the Holocaust & Human Rights Center and held at the Klahr Center, located on the campus of the University of Maine at Augusta.

For more information call the HHRC at 207.621.3530 or visit hhrc.uma.edu