02 Nov Cipriano Ferrel Award
Cipriano Ferrel was most well known as the “heart and soul” of the farmworker movement we know today here in the Mid-Willamette Valley, and one of the most influential Presidents in the PCUN’s history. He was a child of farmworkers and grew up alongside Cesar Chavez’s family in Delano, CA. In 1977 he co-founded the Willamette Valley Immigration Project (now known as Centro de Servicios para Campesinos), and in 1985 he co-founded Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste. He quickly established recognition of the Latino immigrant rights movement, believing in the importance of unionizing efforts to build a permanent path for a better life and better working conditions for the farmworker community.
His untimely death in 1995 led to the recognition of an additional aspect of Cipriano, his encouragement and empowerment of those around him. While Cipriano was a leader in the community and within PCUN itself, he understood the value of making space for others to learn, grow, and take upon themselves the work which we continue to this day.
Cipriano always centered on worker power, and as such, he recognized the importance of creating our own institutions in establishing a physical space for the community to develop political consciousness and the skills to become leaders. He always knew that the way to move our community forward was by molding minds and creating spaces for our gente to grow.
The movement thrives today because of the trust and support he fostered within the community.
With this award, we hope to honor a true steward of our work within the movement, someone that is a leader striving to uplift and empower others in the work while providing the necessary support to develop those leadership skills.