2012 Alumni


2012 Into the Fields Intern
South Carolina Legal Services
Update from August 2013

The summer after I graduated from college in May 2012, I became an Into the Fields Intern at South Carolina Legal Services (SCLS) in Charleston, SC. My intern partner and I travelled all over South Carolina, conducting outreach to migrant camps to promote access to legal services for farmworkers. After the summer ended, I started working full-time as an outreach worker and paralegal at SCLS. As I have been working and living in South Carolina, I have noticed the local food movement really taking off. Whereas many of us who work with farmworkers would consider migrants' rights an inherent part of the local food movement, they continue to be overlooked. I decided to apply to the Petrow-Freeman Documentary Award to create a short documentary on why and how this discrepancy has developed. (The Petrow-Freeman grant is given to SAF alumni who want to work on a more extensive documentary project than the one they did during their SAF internship.) In June, I was thrilled to find out that I received the grant! Since then I have been learning videography skills and starting to interview farmworkers. The documentary should be finished in December 2013.

Although I have enjoyed my time as an outreach worker and paralegal, I have wanted to pursue graduate studies in the immigration field for many years now. Next fall I will be leaving Charleston and heading off to London to pursue a Master's degree in Migration and Development Studies at SOAS-University of London. I hope to commit my career to working with immigrants and migrants throughout Latin America and the United States. SAF instilled a sense of commitment to social justice in me that has molded my career path, my perception of the world, and my life as a whole. I'm excited for whatever is to come!

Anschel Burk

2012 Into the Fields Intern
Local 1208 of the UFCW, Tar Heel, NC
Update from August 2013

My name is Anschel Burk, and in 2012, I was an ITF Intern at Local 1208 of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) in Tar Heel, North Carolina. Over the course of the summer, I planned a community workshop on immigration law and coordinated a protest to raise our membership’s voices against Walmart’s mistreatment of their workers (for more on this effort, check out forrespect.org). I also participated in that year’s theatre group, acting in a play about sexual health and STI prevention.

My interest in the farmworker justice movement began in the summer of 2011, when I moved from the San Francisco Bay Area, where I grew up, to the Research Triangle, where I have lived ever since. Less than a week after moving, I began working at Toxic Free North Carolina as their Farmworker Documentary Project Assistant. That summer, I helped to conduct pesticide education outreach visits to farmworker camps in the Raleigh area. I also worked with a team to create a short documentary about teenagers and children working in the fields.

When I am not in North Carolina, I live in the alternating rainstorms, snowstorms, and sunbaths of southeastern Minnesota as a student at Carleton College. I plan on graduating in June 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology, a concentration in Educational Studies, and a Certificate of Advanced Study (my school’s equivalent of a minor) in Spanish. I hope to pursue a career in education, helping a new generation of students connect real-world issues to classroom lessons and motivating them to make a difference, as SAF did for me.

Shaoli Chadhuri

Sowing Seeds for Change Fellow, 2012
Surry County Health and Nutrition Center, NC
Update from June 2013

I participated as a Sowing for Seeds for Change Fellow after graduating from Duke. I had always had an interest in immigrant rights and community health, and my six months of work as a fellow just cemented those passions for me. They pushed and challenged me, opened my eyes wide to the condition of farmworkers in North Carolina, and helped me become a better person. In particular, the people I met, both the farmworkers and my fellow interns, changed my perspective and made me extremely grateful to have known them.

I am now beginning my first year as a medical student at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio. Since my time at SAF I have been pursuing my Master's in Public Health, which I will be continuing along with my medical studies for the next four years. Rural and immigrant health are major concerns on the Texas border, and I hope to remain in my home state and use my SAF experiences in my career as a physician, an advocate, and a person whose day-to-day life is made possible by people like farmworkers. I also have a possible novel about farmwork in the works, but we will see how that turns out...