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After Watching This Video, I Won't Look At A Strawberry The Same Way Again

It took a few seconds for it to hit me: The poem's words are what the *fields* would tell if they could speak. But once you realize that and keep it in mind as you listen to the rest of the spoken-word poem, the reality of what happens in the fields will hit you hard. Trigger warning: While the video and lyrics are not overtly graphic, they still depict a woman experiencing sexual assault and harassment from her supervisor. If you're a survivor or are set off by depictions of sexual assault, please take care.

Some context:

  • This video and poem were created based on the very real problem of sexual assault that female farm workers, the vast majority of whom are Latina immigrants, are facing daily as they work in the fields. You've just seen a creative response. You can read more about the investigative reporting that inspired it here.
  • We've also posted other videos on Upworthy about this. Here's one by my buddy, Brandon Weber.
  • So far, hundreds of these female agricultural workers have come forward about the sexual and physical harassment they face on the field. In the vast majority of the cases, the perpetrator was a supervisor.
  • In September 2014, California Gov. Joe Brown signed a bill to better protect these women, requiring sexual harassment training for all employees.
  • One of the reporters who's investigated rape on the fields, Bernice Yeung, has an article here providing resources for farm workers who face assault and harassment.

About the poem itself:


  • At 1:08, our poet says "I am the field de calzones." This quite literally means "the field of panties" — which, according to an article in Marie Claire, is the nickname farm workers in Salinas, California, gave to one company's field because of the number of supervisors who rape women in it.
  • Besides that, there's other Spanish thrown in the middle of English. At 1:05, the poet says "the cries of help from las mujeres." "Las mujeres" refers to the women. At 1:20, "Si, se puede!" means "Yes, we can!" and is a direct reference to the slogan coined by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, who co-founded the United Farm Workers and rallied Latino farm workers in strikes and boycotts against agribusinesses.
  • Just in case it wasn't clear, the poem is from the field's point of view. Pretty poetic and beautiful, right? Scroll down below to take a look at the transcript if you need it to follow along!
All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

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