The Cesar E. Chavez Black Eagle Award was established 11 years ago to recognize exceptional activists who make outstanding contributions to the fight for justice in Canada’s agriculture industry.
Every year, Black Eagle Award recipients are named in several different fields of activism that include Labour, Legal, Political, Cultural, International, and Academic categories.
In advance of the Black Eagle Awards dinner ceremony – which will be hosted in Toronto on November 3 by UFCW Canada and the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA) – DIRECTIONS proudly dedicates the next three issues to profiling this year’s six recipients.
This week, we focus on the 2010 Cesar E. Chavez Black Eagle Award recipients for the Cultural and Political categories.
Black Eagle – Cultural: Vince Pietropaolo
Award-winning photographer and social activist, Vincenzo Pietropaolo has been photographing migrant workers and recording their stories since 1984. To give real lifeblood to his artwork, Vince not only visually recorded the life of migrant workers throughout Ontario but also travelled to their homes and communities in Mexico, Jamaica, and Montserrat and gave a voice and a face to the invisible hands that toil our land and bring food to our tables.
Through his highly acclaimed work, Vince has made a very special contribution to the fight for farm worker justice. For over three decades, he has used tremendous artistic ability to inspire fellow activists and raise a significant amount of public awareness for social justices that cry out for immediate and substantive action.
Black Eagle – Political: Olivia Chow
As a Member of Parliament and the New Democratic Party’s tireless immigration critic, Olivia has steadfastly defended workers rights and has been a leading voice in demanding the immediate reform of Canada’s exploitative Temporary Foreign Workers program.
Olivia’s full commitment to the fight for immigrant and migrant worker justice is exemplified by her tireless constituency work and tenacious presence on the parliamentary immigration committee, where she is a strong voice for family reunification and a constant force who demands fairer settlement policies and processes.
True to the spirit of Cesar Chavez, Olivia Chow has spent over three decades rallying communities and helping working people to combine their power to win countless social justice fights and create a better, fairer society.
Next week, DIRECTIONS profiles two outstanding activists and 2010 Cesar E. Chavez Black Eagle Award recipients in the International and Academic categories.
Vol. X No. 42 • October 25, 2010