On Friday, March 24, as many in our network are engaged in reflection and sacrifice leading up to Easter and Passover, we invite consumers of conscience and communities of faith to participate in a National Day of Prayer and Fasting in solidarity with the 19 Ohio State University students and allies fasting to advance their campaign to cut Wendy’s campus lease with The Ohio State University.
On March 24 at 4:00pm EST dozens of farmworkers from Immokalee will join fasters and national religious leaders in a Vigil for Human Rights outside of Wendy’s corporate headquarters, kicking off a weekend of action in Columbus, OH as the CIW’s multi-state Return to Human Rights Tour meets up hundreds upon hundreds of fair food supporters converging from across the country in Wendy’s hometown. The weekend of action will culminate with a Parade for Human Rights on Sunday, March 26 that will make its way from Goodale Park to OSU for a Fast-breaking Ceremony.
Students called the weeklong fast after the University broke its promise to OSU students to terminate Wendy’s campus lease unless the concerns of the Ohio State Student/Farmworker Alliance were fulfilled. That is – unless Wendy’s joins the Fair Food Program. Shamefully, instead of cutting the contract, the University has extended Wendy’s lease for another 6 months.
Students will begin their fast on Monday, March 20, to intensify what has been a three-year call to OSU to stop doing business with Wendy’s. This call’s urgency lies in the retailer’s decision to pull its tomato purchasing from Florida growers in the Fair Food Program that are upholding workers’ rights, and source instead from growers in Mexico where there have been documented human rights abuses including forced labor and child labor.
Beginning on Monday, March 20 and continuing throughout the week, fasters will have a daily presence outside OSU’s administration building as well as at Wendy’s Dublin headquarters, where they will be joined by local clergy, OSU professors, and community leaders. The fast will be broken at OSU’s campus on Sunday, March 26 in the presence of hundreds of farmworkers and allies from across the country at the conclusion of the tour’s Parade for Human Rights through downtown Columbus. You can visit the Student/Farmworker Alliance’s website for a full list of the 19 OSU undergraduates, graduate students, and alumni fasting to Boot the Braids from campus.
Support for the Wendy’s Boycott National Day of Prayer and Fasting:
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) issued a statement on March 15th expressing the church’s strong support of the student fast at OSU. From the article on presbyterianmission.org: “We are encouraging Presbyterians around the country to pray for the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the fasters in Columbus on March 24, the National Day of Prayer and Fasting,” added the Rev. Rebecca Barnes, coordinator of the Presbyterian Hunger Program.”
People across the Alliance for Fair Food are called on to participate in the National Day of Prayer and Fasting by committing to a full or partial fast on Friday, March 24 to the struggle of farmworkers and allies who hunger for justice from Wendy’s, the only major fast food chain still not participating in the CIW’s Fair Food Program.
We urge you to amplify your prayers and fasting by writing a letter about your action to Todd Penegor, Wendy’s CEO at 1 Dave Thomas Boulevard, Dublin, OH 43017. Then, please document your actions on social media (#BoycottWendys, @Wendys, #FairFoodProgram) or a local publication to share the news of the Wendy’s Boycott with your community! And finally – if you’re able to join us in Columbus on Sunday, March 26, for the Parade for Human Rights ending on OSU’s campus, register your participation today!
Let us know how you’ll be participating in the National Day of Prayer and Fasting on Friday, March 24 by filling out the form below, and stay tuned for reports from the Return to Human Rights Tour stops on our way to Columbus!