Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Humanities & Communication


This paper examines how the partnering of service learning with creative writing produces and perpetuates social activism, especially with regard to farmworkers. First, I use a personal narrative to explain how our experiences influence the way we think about--or ignore--farmworkers and their struggles. I then discuss preparations made by my classmates and I from the fall 2001 432S course, "Pesticides and Beyond: The Enduring Legacy," before placement at service learning sites. These preparations included: classroom discussions of the historical, cultural, political, and ideological foundations of farmworker struggles; analyses of how power, privilege, and prejudice oppress farmworkers in America; and research on farmworker issues such as working and housing conditions, pesticides, and access to health care. I discuss our experiences at our service learning sites, where we performed various tasks for farmworker advocacy organizations committed to helping farmworkers who strive to live healthy and productive lives while subjected to the institutionalized racism inherent in American society. I explore how we used our discussions, research and service-learning experiences to create social action writing that gives voice to farmworkers and their families. I argue that such writing promotes social justice by naming and confronting social injustices, and by persuading others to become politicized and engaged in the struggle for a peaceful and egalitarian world. Finally, I include a collection of the social action writing from "Pesticides and Beyond" edited by my Capstone collaborator Claire Porter and me. The collection is entitled From Our Backs to Your Tables: Fruits of Injustice.


Capstone Project (B.A.) Institute for Human Communication