Event—Scholarly Seminars

Michael Aguirre, Harvard University, and Shana Bernstein, Northwestern University


Challenging Border Confinement: Organized Labor, the Chicano Movement, and the Transborder Politics of Farmworker Healthcare, Michael Aguirre

Abstract: This paper explores the development of two distinct, yet interrelated forms of healthcare on the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. In the 1970s, both the United Farm Workers and the Chicano Movement searched for ways to respond to the diverse demands of their members. Through the creation of out-patient clinics in the Imperial-Mexicali region of the U.S.-Mexico border, both organizations maneuvered through state bureaucracies and forwarded ideas of movement and access to medicine to reflect the transborder realities of workers.

An Environmental, Labor and Consumer History of California Strawberries in the 1990s, Shana Bernstein

On April 21, 1998, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown presided over the signing of a contract between the United Farm Workers (UFW) and Swanton Berry Farm, California’s first commercial organic strawberry farm and the first organic farm to recognize union labor. The signing reflects the merging of three reform threads that had been building over three decades: the farm worker justice, environmental, and consumer movements. This paper explores the history of the relationship between the UFW and Swanton Berry Farm as a lens for reimagining the history of California agriculture by situating it in an environmental, labor, and consumer framework.

Respondent: Beatrix Hoffman, Northern Illinois University