There are many efforts that endeavor to illuminate the diversity of our country. It could be argued, however, that none reach further or strike the cords of humanity deeper than personal storytelling.
The National Center for Farmworker Health proactively supports the work of migrant health centers and the empowerment of Agriculture Worker communities in our mission to improve health status. We remain determined to eliminate the barriers to health care and increase access for Ag Worker families to culturally appropriate, quality health care.
In light of this resolve, we work actively to promote awareness regarding the American ag worker’s contribution to United States’ food production as a whole. Not all ag workers are undocumented, but many are immigrants. Many are third and fourth generation Americans.
As a country comprised historically of immigrants, we think it is important to share with our community the story of one organization working to tell the stories of our country’s populations: Define American.
Since its inception in 2011, Define American has been working to start and facilitate conversations regarding immigration in the United States. Part of this effort has included a series of personal vignettes, including the one below from Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and the organization’s founder and co-chair.
He says, “I define American as someone who works really hard,someone who is proud to be in this country and wants to contribute to it. I am independent. I pay taxes. I’m self-sufficient. I am an American.”
If you have a story to tell, or want to recommend someone whose personal family journey will lend meaning to the definition of “American”, we encourage you to share also.
As a first generation American, produced from two generations of orphans, I am extremely conscious of the blessings and good fortune that have marked my life and that of my children. I’ll tell my story. Look for it on Define American. Will you tell yours?
By Bobbi Ryder, NCFH President and CEO
Photo: Lindsey Bachman
The National Center for Farmworker Health
Improving health care access for one of America's most vulnerable populations