Methodology & Programs
CATA’s organizing work is based on the popular education methodology. This is a methodology that focuses on providing the community with the opportunity to analyze their reality based on their own experiences and on enabling them to make decisions on how to go about seeking change. Therefore, our work revolves around educating workers and their families on different issues that are important to them and in developing farmworker leadership within the community.
Priorities established by CATA’s Assembly
- Migrant and Immigrant Rights
- Workers’ Rights
- Environmental Justice
Areas where CATA works
Southern New Jersey
South Jersey produces a large amount of fresh vegetables for the Philadelphia and New York metropolitan areas, and employs from 10,000-15,000 migrant workers each year. CATA organizers visit the farm labor camps and communities where migrant workers and their families live throughout the seven counties of Southern New Jersey (Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem) to offer pesticide safety trainings, HIV health education and testing, and ultimately to build local committees within centers of work and communities. Currently, the regional council in New Jersey prioritized a work plan centered around issues dealing with amnesty for undocumented immigrants.
Kennett Square and Reading, PA (Chester and Berks Counties)
Southeastern Pennsylvania is home to the largest concentration of mushroom production in the United States. Approximately 50% of the mushrooms sold and consumed in the country are produced within the counties of Chester and Berks. Kennett Square is the self-proclaimed mushroom capitol of the world. CATA maintains an office in Kennett Square where outreach to the local mushroom farms is coordinated, alongwith leadership development and support to the Kaolin Workers’ Union and several other groups organizing within mushroom packing houses and farms.
Delmarva Peninsula (Salisbury, Maryland)
The Delmarva Peninsula has a large number of migrant workers that work in chicken processing plants, the crabbing industry, agriculture, landscaping and nurseries, and other industries. In early 2001, migrant workers from the area contacted CATA to form a regional migrant council and since then they have organized around issues dealing with income taxes, housing discrimination, and lack of identification.