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Florida Modern Day Slavery Museum Comes to Central Florida


January 21, 2014 | WMFE--NOTE: THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

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The Florida Modern Day Slavery Museum is coming to Rollins College Thursday and Friday.  It highlights Florida's history of sometimes dismal agricultural labor conditions.

The museum will be at Rollins as part of the school’s weeklong celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.  Zakiya Brown is the assistant director of Rollins’ Office of Multicultural Affairs.  She says the museum is in a truck, so it can travel throughout the state.  The vehicle also takes visitors inside the transportation – and imprisonment – of some agricultural workers.  "They also show you how individuals are trafficked, when they’re in this cargo truck, with, actually, the chains and the shackles that you don’t think you’ll still see, but they’re still being utilized,” Brown says.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers created the museum in 2010 after six indictments for labor conditions in Immokalee, Florida.  Case files show tomato pickers there suffered beatings, coercion and even outright imprisonment.  The government has prosecuted nine such cases in Florida since 1997.

Last week, the CIW persuaded Wal-mart to join a program requiring fair working conditions for Florida tomato pickers.  It’s the biggest company to take part in the initiative so far.

 

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