ABOUT THE EVENT
In observance of World Day Against Child Labor, Shine Global is hosting a free virtual screening of their 2011 documentary about child labor in the US THE HARVEST (LA COSECHA). The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with experts and participants in the film – including Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard – who will discuss the current situation of child labor in the US, what is being done to support these children, and what still needs to be done to ensure their safety and futures.
Directed by award-winning photographer and filmmaker U Roberto Romano, THE HARVEST (LA COSECHA) tells the stories of three adolescents who travel with their families across thousands of miles to pick crops in southern Texas, northern Michigan, and northern Florida during the harvest season. Actor Eva Longoria served as executive producer.
“It’s my sincere hope that this documentary will withstand the test of time to remind future generations that child labor, no matter what industry, is absolutely deplorable and wrong,” said Eva Longoria upon the release of the film in 2011.
That is why Shine Global, the non-profit media company dedicated to giving voice to children and families, has organized this screening and panel discussion on World Day Against Child Labor. According to the UN, there are an estimated 152 million children in child labor around the world, 72 million of which are in hazardous work. This is an issue in the United States as well, with an estimated 500,000 children working in the fields to harvest the food we all eat. With COVID-19, these children are now at even greater risk and facing even more difficult circumstances.
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 excluded agriculture allowing children 12-years-old and even younger to pick produce. Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, who will be speaking on the panel, has authored the CARE Act to change this by increasing the minimum age of child workers to 14-years-old and to end the separate and unequal status farmworker children now endure. (read more on the CARE Act here).
The panel will also feature Zulema Lopez, who was featured at age 12 in the film, and Norma Flores López who is also a former child farmworker and is now a well-known farmworker rights activist. The discussion will cover issues of child labor presented in the film and efforts in the US to mitigate this practice.
Any donations raised will be shared with the Farmworkers’ COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund set up by Justice for Migrant Women and Hispanics in Philanthropy to help keep farmworker families safe from COVID-19 as they perform “essential” work to feed us.
Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40)
In 1992, Lucille Roybal-Allard became the first Mexican-American woman elected to Congress. Last year, she became the first Latina to serve as one of the 12 “cardinals,” or chairs, of a House Appropriations Subcommittee. Congresswoman Roybal-Allard is author of The Children’s Act for Responsible Employment (CARE) to address abusive and exploitative child labor practices in agriculture. She is a prominent advocate for children and families as co-chair of the Maternity Care Caucus, vice chair of the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, and vice chair of the Task Force on Aging and Families. She is also an original co-author of The Dream Act, which would allow certain U.S.-raised immigrant youth to earn lawful permanent residence and eventual American citizenship. In 2019, she introduced the newest version of this bill: HR 6, The Dream and Promise Act.
Zulema Lopez, Child Rights Activist, Featured in the film The Harvest (La Cosecha)
Zulema Lopez is a Michigan State university Graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Human Capital and Society from the Human Resources And Labor Relations college at MSU. Throughout her 23 years she has been able to overcome the harsh obstacles she faced as a migrant farm worker and has used her platform to advocate for child labor laws. Zulema participated in the documentary The Harvest (La Cosecha) at age 12, in which her life as a child migrant worker was documented to show the underlying issues of the child labor in the US. In 2018 she was a guest panelist at the 107th Session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland where she spoke on the issues of child labor in the US. Most recently in 2019, Zulema returned to her home state of Texas to attend two conferences where she shared her story to help motivate students with a similar background. Zulema continues to be a child labor activist in hopes that there will be change to come.
Norma Flores López, Chief Programs Officer at Justice for Migrant Women
Norma Flores López grew up as a child of a migrant farmworker family from South Texas. She began working in the fields at the age of 12, where she continued working until she graduated from high school. She has long been an active advocate for migrant farmworker children’s rights and continues to raise awareness on issues affecting the farmworker community. Norma serves on the Board of Directors for the National Consumers League, is the chair of the Child Labor Coalition’s Domestic Issues Committee, and the representative for the United States on the Board of Directors for Global March Against Child Labour. Prior to joining Justice for Migrant Women, Norma was the Governance and Development/Collaboration Manager at East Coast Migrant Head Start Project, a co-founder of The Foundation for Farmworkers, served on the Board of Directors for the National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association, and was director of the Children in the Fields Campaign at the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs.
Released in 2011, THE HARVEST (LA COSECHA) is a production of Shine Global, Inc. in association with Globalvision, Inc., Romano Film and Photography, Inc., UnbeliEVAble Productions, EPIX and Planet Green. Albie Hecht and Susan MacLaury: executive producers for Shine Global, Inc. Eva Longoria: executive producer for UnBeliEVAble Productions, Rory O’Connor: executive producer for Globalvision, Inc. and producer. Alonzo Cantu and Raul Padilla, Executive Producers
U. Roberto Romano, Director, Producer, Director of Photography
Roberto Romano was an award winning photographer, filmmaker, and human rights educator. He worked on human rights projects with such organizations as GoodWeave, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, The International Labor Organization, Stop the Traffik, The Hunger Project, and The Council on Foreign Relations, among others. He was the Director, Producer, and Director of Photography of The Harvest (La Cosecha). His other film credits include: Dark Side of Chocolate (Director of Photography) about slavery in the West Africa cocoa trade; Stolen Childhoods (Producer, Director, and Director of Photography) about child labor. His powerful photography was also published in many prestigious newspapers and magazines and featured in many galleries and shows.
Shine Global is a 501(c)(3) non-profit media company with the mission to give voice to children and their families by telling stories of their resilience to raise awareness, promote action, and inspire change. Since founding in 2005, we’ve produced and supported over 15 films about children and families and run educational and engagement campaigns that have a real world impact. Our films include the Oscar-winning short docInocenteand the Oscar-nominated War/Dance, the PBS documentaryTre Maison Dasan, and the Webby-nominated digital series The Election Effect.
Justice For Migrant Women protects and advances migrant women’s rights through education, public awareness and advocacy. Justice for Migrant Women aims to ensure that all migrant women are guaranteed human and civil rights, including the freedom of mobility, the ability to live and work with dignity, and the right to be free of threats of violence against them and their families, whether they are migrating across borders, around regions or within states. https://justice4women.org/
The Latinx House is a gathering place for people who appreciate and support the Latinx community and who celebrate Latinx excellence in film and entertainment. We are also a space to discuss pressing societal issues and the content creation related to these stories. We will provide engagement, activation and community building opportunities. https://www.thelatinxhouse.org/