Every year, the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) hosts an evening awards reception. This year, the anticipated Friday night event will also feature a closing address by Leonel Perez of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). Mr. Perez brings a wealth of experience as an advocate for workers’ rights, and AESS is delighted to host him Friday, June 28 as part of our 2019 meeting, “Sustainable Futures.”

Mr. Perez’s biography, provided by the CIW:

Leonel Perez has been a key leader of the award-winning human rights organization, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), for over a decade. Mr. Perez worked for years in the fields of Florida and along the East Coast harvesting tomatoes, watermelon, and other crops. Today, as a part of the Fair Food Program, Mr. Perez and his colleagues educate tens of thousands of farmworkers’ on their rights in the fields on all farms participating in the Program, including the right to work free of slavery, sexual violence, and health and safety risks.

Mr. Perez also hosts shows on the CIW’s community radio station and community communications, and throughout the year facilitates and conducts dozens of popular education trainings for weekly membership meetings. Finally, Ms. Perez represents the CIW at a national level, speaking publicly on the challenges faced by farmworkers in Florida, both during major actions with thousands of consumers and in dozens of presentations throughout the year. He has been featured in publications such as CNN’s Freedom Project and best-selling books such as Tomatoland (2017) and I am not a tractor (2018).

Learn more about Mr. Perez’s work.