Cornell University

February 29 2012

Global Initiative

Werth '13 wins slot for Cornell Farmworker Program at conference

Citing her "commitment to action" on farmworkers' rights, the Clinton Global Initiative has chosen Alexis Werth '13 to join university students from around the world for a March 30-April 1 conference in Washington, D.C.

The Clinton Global Initiative University – as the conference is named – challenges college students to address global issues with practical, innovative solutions.

Taking concrete steps to solve world problems by building relationships, creating action plans, participating in hands-on workshops, then following up with the Clinton organization as projects are completed is also part of the program.

"I'm excited to represent ILR and the Cornell Farmworker Program at this important conference," Werth said.

After her 2011 internship with the Cornell Farmworker Program, Werth proposed a Clinton Global Initiative "commitment" to justice for farmworkers in New York state and around the country.

"Cultivating the Seeds of Hope: An Initiative To Improve the Living and Working Conditions of (NYS) Farmworkers," Werth's proposal, was selected this week for a  conference exhibition March 31.

As part of it, Werth said she will discuss her project and the Cornell Farmworker Program, giving attendees a chance to network with the program and to sign up for the commitment.

The Cornell Farmworker Program mission is to improve the lives and working conditions of farmworkers in New York state. Each summer, several Cornell students serve as program interns.

They conduct research with farmworkers, teach English and assist in on-farm workshops designed to address needs identified by migrant farmworkers. Cornell Cooperative Extension county associations host some of the summer interns.

Proficient in Spanish, Werth interviewed dozens of farmworkers during her summer internship as part of a needs assessment research project.

The Cornell Farmworker Program is using the findings to develop workshops for farmworkers.

Werth and her student colleagues are maintaining their relationships with farmworkers by tutoring farmworkers in English once a week throughout the academic year.

In addition to participating in sessions at the Washington conference, Werth will provide an information booth on the Cornell Farmworker Program's summer intern research and other projects.

Mary Jo Dudley, director of the Cornell Farmworker Program, said "What a great opportunity for Alexis and a great showcase for the program."

The Clinton Global Initiative is a project of former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Speakers at the conference are slated to include Clinton, his daughter Chelsea Clinton and Jon Stewart, host of "The Daily Show."