Recently, we were able to find some archival documents from the Walter Reuther Library at Wayne State University, documents that are specific to Grand Rapids, particularly the Farm Worker Movement.
The image below is taken from a newsletter in April of 1978, and as you can see it says Vol. 1, No. 1. We have yet to come across any other copies of any other volumes from this newsletter, which was put out by Western Michigan Friends of the Farm Workers.
There are three people pictured in the newsletter, one of which is Rosa Fraga, who is still in Grand Rapids and still active in issues that impact the Latinx community, specifically around the issue of immigration.
Based on our own research and talking with people who were active in migrant worker justice in the 1970s in Grand Rapids, we known that there was never a migrant worker union that was formed in West Michigan. However, there were numerous support groups of allies doing solidarity work, like the Western Michigan Friends of the Farm Workers.
At the end of the archived document above, it says that there was going to be a meeting at Sr. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, in preparation for the Migrant Worker Walkathon being held in Detroit in May of 1978. We did not find anything on the Walkathon for 1978, but we did find an archival flyer for a Walkathon in 1983, picture below.
A big thank you to Kaitlin Popielarz, for taking pictures of these documents and sending them to us!!!
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