“Fruits of Labor” is an award-winning documentary about a Mexican-American teenager who dreams of graduating high school, when ICE raids in her community threaten to separate her family and force her to become the breadwinner for her family by working in the strawberry fields and at a food processing factory on the central coast of California. The film asks what it means to come into one’s power as a young woman of color working in the wealthiest nation in the world. It offers a new narrative about workers that shows the nuances of how the global food system intersects with gender and family life.
A virtual Q&A with the film's protagonist and co-writer, Ashley Pavon, moderated by Laura Muñoz, assistant professor of history and ethnic studies, follows. Admission is free.
Ashley Pavon was a farmworker and factory worker in high school and now is a full-time student at Hartnell College pursuing an Associate Degree and a Certificate in Latino Business at Santa Clara University. She has spent several years working on food security and justice for her community on the Central Coast of California with the Community Agroecology Network. A member of the River Park Video Collective, she helped make a short community film, Cultivating Justice. Ashley is working towards owning two acres of land where she will start her own strawberry farm that employs fair working conditions, pay, and pathways to higher education for strawberry pickers. Ashley is a role model for young working people and is collaborating with Emily Cohen Ibañez on the FRUITS OF LABOR Social Impact Campaign.
Emily Cohen Ibañez is a Latinx filmmaker based in Oakland who earned her doctorate in anthropology with a certificate in culture and media at New York University. Her film work pairs lyricism with social activism, advocating for labor, environmental, and health justice.
To learn more about the film, see fruitsoflaborfilm.com.