In May 2012, the BUF Congregation voted in favor of establishing a formal partnership with Community to Community Development, a local organization that members of BUF, specifically the Social Justice Committee and the Immigrant Rights Ministry Team, have had an ongoing relationship since 2005.
C2C works in the areas of food sovereignty (which covers fair trade, healthy and sustainable farming, farmworker rights, healthy cooking and nutrition education), immigration reform, civic education, leadership development (particularly with youth, women's rights), eliminating racism and racial profiling, and other social change movements. Much of their work is inspired by the teachings of Cesar Chavez. For more information check their website at https://foodjustice.org or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Community2Community.
In 2005, BUF had its very first chance to work with C2C in their early efforts to transform the conditions of farm work, food production and migration/immigration in Whatcom County. One of our first collaborations was protesting the Minuteman presence and behavior on our Northern border through rallies and testimony.
Since that time, we have worked with C2C in a variety ways including participating in marches, rallies and picketing. One of our most recent endeavors has been establishing an annual March for Dignity, engaging the Whatcom County community in supporting the human and civil rights of our migrant farmworkers. In 2013, the BUF congregation also passed a resolution supporting the Dignity Campaign, a nationwide call for immigration reform where civil rights are recognized as an essential component of human relations and that there are basic human rights that should be guaranteed regardless of where one was born or where one works. An example of this includes our recent support of Familias Unidas Por La Justicia, an organization of migrant farmworkers protesting poor wages, inadequate housing conditions and poor working conditions at Sakuma Farms in Skagit.
For food justice, BUF has supported and continues to support C2C’s Cocinas Sanas program, which offers migrant farmworker families the means to extend their knowledge of the basic principles of nutrition, health, traditional cultural foods, recipes and practices, and responsibly grown, local food. Participants in the program also take part in a number other activities including the Tamale Drive fundraising efforts, prepare BUF’s annual Posada celebration and other events and activities. We have also been working with C2C in promoting the concept of Domestic Fair Trade, a concept that echoes the components of environmental sustainability and fair treatment of agricultural workers of the Fair Trade movement, but on a local level.
Each year we also work with C2C to hold an annual fundraising dinner in honor of Cesar Chavez, a renown and leading social and political activist for not only farmworker rights, but work rights throughout. The dinner is a community event that also recognizes and honors other organizations pursuing the dreams of Cesar Chavez of worker rights and civil rights and that they can be accomplished through non-violence.
The C2C/BUF Partnership has also endeavored this past year to strengthen its connections to other UU groups that are working on local, state and national levels concerning migrant farmworker rights and immigration reform throughout the State of Washington.
Additionally, we’ve shown films, initiated writing campaigns, supported human rights conferences, held citizenship classes and classes on racism, walked in support of food justice and humane detention, hosted workshops and summits with officials, held Sunday services and adult forums, and participated in conferences with representatives, all in support of food justice and immigrant/worker rights.
The C2C/BUF Partnership team meets on a monthly basis and anyone is welcome to joins us at any point in time. There is always plenty of work to do, friendships to build and dreams to make come true!