The weekend before Thanksgiving, as we reflected on what we were grateful for, Washington, DC had the opportunity to take a look at our food system. “Food Chains,” a documentary by Sanjay Rawal, premiered across the country on Friday, November 21st with DC being one of several cities welcoming the premiere. “Food Chains” explores the exploitation of farmworkers in the agriculture industry in the United States, the complicity of government and corporations in perpetuating human rights abuses, and the role consumers can play in ending some of the most egregious human rights violations within our borders.
When a major film documenting the work of the CIW comes to town what does DC Fair Food do? We take to the streets! Through the work of DC Fair Food and other ally organizations, West End Cinema screened Food Chains to 5 sold out crowds, and even continued to screen the film a week longer. Due to a gracious donation by Founding Farmers and other organizations, DC Fair Food was able to to provide sliding scale priced tickets and even free tickets. West End Cinema added early screenings and moved screenings to bigger theatres to accommodate school and community groups, and growing crowds.
Through out the weekend, the screenings were accompanied by “Talk-Backs” with CIW member Santiago Perez, CIW staff Marley Moynahan, DC Fair Food members and guest speakers. This provided an opportunity for movie goers to ask questions and learn how to further engage in the Campaign for Fair Food. Friday’s showing was accompanied with a panel with Director Sanjay Rawal, Arthur Allen, author of “Ripe” and Greg Kaufmann from the Center for American Progress.
Saturday, through the collaboration of DC Fair Food and SongRise (a DC based, all female acapella group), a vigil was held at GW Plaza, reflecting on the impact of the Fair Food Program and the work left to be done. There were several speakers present at the vigil including Yanely Perez, a Georgetown University student and organizer with DC Jobs with Justice, and a rabbi representative from the T’ruah Board.
Thank you to everyone who joined us and made the DC run of Food Chains a success. As the CIW says: “consciousness + commitment = change.” If you weren’t able to attend a screening, or if you’d like to see it again, look for Food Chains on iTunes and OnDemand. Also, expect another screening in DC in the Spring!
Blog post written by Brittany Urse, DC Fair Food Member.