PCUN does a very good job of addressing the community and engaging members of the Latinx community. They use many different mediums in order to have the greatest effect on the largest number of people. PCUN’s actions have even seen an entire Latinx school board assembled to best represent its residents. Guiding support to families who need it, PCUN overlooks one crucial set of actos, those who their members engage with.
Narrative 4 is an organization which attempts to engage with people through a dialogic model. Their work along with Yale research has shown story exchange to be a powerful tool in building relationships between groups of people. These groups may have different opinions but engage in a beneficial quest to find a clearer truth that may lay outside their own social life. A unique aspect to PCUN is that many of their Latinx members do not speak proficient english (although we have not been able to meet with PCUN for an interview due to the COVID 19 pandemic we have come to this assumption through their member translation services as well as their bilingual website). Due to this the question arises, How can form laborers and their american counterparts participate in a dialogic model of engagement without being able to speak the same language?
The answer may be relatively simple, creating a space for an intercambio, or language exchange. According to the National Center for Farmworker health, 27% of agricultural workers spoke “no english at all” with an additional 32% speaking “little”. In collaboration with the Lewis and Clark students, students can work with both members of PCUN to work on their english, and members of farms or anyone else in the community looking to expand their spanish. This process is very flexible especially while we face challenges such as a ban on in person meetings. Apps like duolingo can be used to practice language as well as video calls. Once this small foundation of linguistic practice is set, meetings can begin in groups.
Different events will then be held to focus on sharing narratives from each group’s life. Some events that may be possible are cultural cooking practice workshops, potlucks, coffee, and more. Again these events take place in settings to share parts of each other’s lives. Prompts and conversation holders will be given out to help discuss issues. Initially these conversations prompts may start out as light hearted things as everyone gets used to the languages, community, and more. Eventually the hope is to engage in issues that hit both workers and farmers.
Currently it seems as though the only time these two sides engage outside of work are through organizations like PCUN and the Oregon Farm Bureau and their lobbyists. Through narrative story telling and a dialogic model PCUN and OFB could be able to engage on a more personal level, collaborating towards policy change rather than fighting each other in the Oregon Legislation. The first step however in taking on policies like pesticide use may be by teaching the two groups, workers, and owners, how to communicate with one another. Breaking down the agricultural language barrier will be crucial to tackling problems together.