It is estimated that there are more than 3 million migrant and seasonal workers in the United States. The most recent National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS), which conducts face-to-face interviews with farm workers, found that women account for 22% of this population.
While the Department of Labor has gathered demographic data on farm workers for nearly a quarter century, some data is missing — specifically, the number of sexual assaults against women.
The challenges women face in reporting these assaults can be debilitating. Immigration status, language barriers, and the fear of losing their job may prevent victims from filing police reports- but one group is giving these women a voice.
The Off/Page Project, the brainchild of a partnership between the Center for Investigative Reporting and the spoken-word group Youth Speaks is using slam poetry as a catalyst for change. A recent video published by the group shows student Monica Mendoza reciting "Whispers From the Field," her poem that reflects just how hazardous the conditions are for women in this industry.
“The main goal of off page project is to show kids their voice matters, and that they have impact beyond just a three-minute poem on stage,” says Youth Speaks member Jose Vadi.
Check out Monica's video and learn more about how the Off/Page Project is using a multimedia platform to ignite social change.