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January 2018


Dr. Seth HolmesDr. Seth Holmes, Associate Professor at UC Berkeley, gave a talk on migrant farmworker health, inequality, and future solutions. He is a cultural and medical anthropologist and physician at UC Berkeley focusing on social hierarchies, health inequalities, and the ways in which perceptions of social difference may naturalize, normalize, or challenge these inequalities. He shared his experience of being out in the fields harvesting with other farmworkers for his research. He followed these farmworkers through migrating from field to field, finding a home, and even through their experiences in clinics. He emphasized the different way he was treated because of the color of his skin, often receiving special treatment. Dr. Holmes invited the farmworker family to do a panel on their experience as farmworkers. The panel explained their day-to-day hardships. One of the workers had been run over by a truck while he was working on it. Years later, he has finally regained his strength and continues to work in agriculture. Despite all these challenges, they work hard to provide for their families because they know that harvesting in the USA provides better opportunities than back in their own country.

CalAgrAbility continues to support agencies that have made the Get Moving Exercise Workshops a part of their regular activities. This month, CalAgrAbility provided the RISE staff with copies of information brochures on gentle movement. This is a program that started in 2014 and has continued to be held in the rural communities of Esparto and Winters since then.

Ability Tools officeCalAgrAbility met with partner Ability Tools to close a year filled with fruitful joint work. Some of the meeting highlights were: the translation into Spanish of the "Try Out Assistive Equipment for Farming and Gardening," putting together a webinar that introduced the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living to independent living specialists, and joint outreach at the 2017 Assistive Technology Expo in San Mateo. Both agencies are excited to continue their collaboration in 2018.

Submitted by Sara Wat