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Racial Implications of Injustices in Food and Agriculture

When Thursday, March 11, 2021
5:00 PM - 6:15 PM
Location Virtual
For Public; Faculty; Staff; Students; Alumni; CLE Credit

In this virtual lecture, part of the University of Colorado Law School?s Race and the Law series, Professor Alexia Brunet Marks and postdoctoral research fellow Hunter Knapp ('20) will trace the history of structural racism in agriculture in Colorado focusing on disparate treatment for racial and other minorities. They will explore disparate labor protections for farmworkers and disparate health and safety protections for meatpacking workers. While the Biden Administration has signaled a new OSHA emergency labor protection standard, this is one among other options that will be contemplated. Systemic racism in agriculture has resulted in disparate protections for the minority workers who plant, harvest, and process the food we eat. Compared to workers in other economic sectors, farmworkers have been historically excluded from labor protections that guarantee a minimum wage, overtime and the right to unionize. Even for agricultural workers in meatpacking who qualify for labor benefits above, other injustices, like disparate health and safety protections have negatively impacted the lives of ethnic minorities, which have become more acute during the pandemic. These disparities became more acute during the pandemic. For instance, U.S. meatpacking industry has long relied on vulnerable populations to fill its workforce: immigrants, refugees, people of color and those with few other opportunities. During the pandemic, as meatpacking plants became hotbeds for the novel coronavirus, employees and their families used the courts to force employers to implement safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Lawsuits claiming negligence, public nuisance, wrongful death in addition to fair labor and standards violations and failure to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard emerged. The Race and the Law series is part of Dean Anaya's Anti-Racism and Representation Initiative. Announced in July, the yearlong initiative includes a broad range of actions and programs to confront racism and advance greater inclusion in legal education and the legal profession. Register:

More Information

Contact Yesenia Delgado
Speakers Associate Professor Alexia Brunet Marks and postdoctoral research fellow Hunter Knapp ('20)
CLE Credits
General: 1