Women & Farm Work: AAUW Program for 2/26, 10:30-noon, via Zoom

Women & Farm Work is Focus of AAUW Program

Ashland, Ore. – February 11, 2022 –  The Ashland Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) will host a public discussion of “Farm Work Is Women’s Work, Too” on Sat., February 26, 10:30-12 noon, via Zoom. To register for this free session, visit the AAUW Ashland website https://ashland-or.aauw.net.

The speakers are Program Coordinator Kathy Keesee Morales and Executive Director Dagoberto Morales of Unete Center for Farm Worker and Immigrant Advocacy in Medford. They will discuss the struggles women immigrants and seasonal workers can face in agriculture – everything from being totally overworked, overlooked and underpaid to being sexually harassed.

Established in 1996, Unete (www.uneteoregon.org) is a movement of farm workers and immigrants that strives to empower and enrich the lives of both groups through education, cultural presentations, advocacy, representation in issues that affect their lives – and in organizing to defend immigrant rights.  It is one of the few Latino-led nonprofit organizations in the Rogue Valley and seeks to build appreciation and understanding of Latino and indigenous American cultures and traditions.

Dagoberto Morales is a native of Michoacan, Mexico.  He studied agriculture in Mexico and when the economy turned down in 1984 he immigrated to the U.S.  He worked in the fields and experienced first-hand the mistreatment of his farmworker brothers and sisters. Morales and a group of workers started Unete in his living room in 1996.

Kathy Keesee Morales worked more than 20 years in public health through a variety of programs,  most recently at Providence Health & Services. There she built the Swindells Resource Center in Medford that serves with children with special health, developmental and behavioral needs.  Keesee Morales also worked to ensure that Spanish-speaking families received equitable services at Providence and in public education.  In April 2021 she left Providence to work fulltime for Unete.