People outside in the cold and rain holding a Fighting for Fair Food sign

On International Women’s Day 2019 (March 8), hundreds of farmworkers, students, people of faith, community leaders and allies from across the country will march from Goodale Park to Ohio State University President Drake’s office as part of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ (CIW) nationwide “4 for Fair Food” human rights tour. The CIW will be joining  the campus-based “Boot the Braids” campaigns to end the schools’ business relationships with the national fast food chain, Wendy’s, until it joins the CIW’s Presidential Medal-winning Fair Food Program.

In breaking news ahead of the tour, it was announced that Wendy’s will not be invited back to the University of Michigan, making UM the first university to “boot” Wendy’s from campus.  The decision to not invite Wendy’s back was declared through formal resolutions from the Michigan Union Board of Representatives, the UM student government, and the local Ann Arbor City Council. 

“As farmworkers, we know first-hand the consequences of Wendy’s intransigence,” said Gerardo Reyes Chavez of the CIW.  “Outside of the Fair Food Program, farmworker women continue to be sexually assaulted and harassed. Men and women alike continue to be ensnared in modern-day slavery operations in our food system.  Nothing less than the proven model of the Fair Food Program will truly combat human rights violations in Wendy’s supply chain.”

“We are here to tell OSU that Wendy’s has no place on our campus.” said Rachael Birri, student leader of OSU Student/Farmworker Alliance. “If President Drake truly seeks to be a leader in preventing sexual misconduct, then there is no question that OSU must cut the contract with Wendy’s,  a corporation that has failed to join the Fair Food Program, the country’s only proven solution to sexual violence in supply chains, and has even declared that farmworker women “exploit” the #MeToo movement bv fighting for change. As students, we stand with farmworker women.”

The 4 for Fair Food Tour builds on a three-year national boycott of Wendy’s, including a rolling student fast in 2017 in which hundreds of students at over a dozen schools fasted in protest of Wendy’s refusal to take meaningful action to end sexual violence and forced labor in U.S. agriculture.  All of Wendy’s top competitors – Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Burger King, Chipotle, and Subway – have already joined the Fair Food Program. The Program was named one of the top 15 “most important social-impact stories of the past century,” in the Harvard Business Review and was called “the best workplace monitoring program in the U.S.” on the front page of the New York Times.  The Program has harnessed the purchasing power of more than a dozen of the world’s largest retail food companies, including retail giants like Whole Foods and Stop & Shop in addition to fast food chains, to end decades of sexual assault, forced labor, and other human rights abuses on participating farms. 

Coalition of Immokalee Workers:

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is a human rights organization and Presidential Medal recipient internationally recognized for its achievements in the fields of social responsibility, anti-sexual violence efforts, community organizing, and ending slavery.  The CIW’s Fair Food Program is a groundbreaking partnership among farmworkers, Florida tomato growers, and fourteen major food retailers.  Participating retailers agree to purchase exclusively from suppliers who meet a worker-driven code of conduct, which includes a zero-tolerance policy for slavery and sexual harassment.  For more information, visit