RMM has had many achievements throughout our history. They include:
- Facilitating a successful campaign to support farmworkers as they sought the same minimum wage as other New Yorkers.
- Facilitating successful legislative campaigns to require field sanitation and drinking water in the fields for farmworkers.
- Leading the Justice For Farmworkers Campaign, a twenty year campaign that saw a four hundred year injustice addressed with the passage of the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act in 2019 which gave farmworkers many basic rights including: A Day of Rest, Overtime pay, disability insurance, and most importantly, the right to bargain collectively.
- Served as the lead plaintiff in a case against the Trump administration and the EPA protecting training protocols around the use of pesticides
- The Youth Arts Group received awards from the Washington D.C. Immigration Film Festival and the Hudson Valley Film Festival for best short Documentary: DREAMERS AMONG US
- RMM & our colleague Librada Paz received the 2012 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award
- WOMAN’S DAY MAGAZINE honored former Executive Director, the Rev. Gail Keeney Mulligan with their Outstanding Woman Award
- Trinity Wall Street names the Rev Richard Witt, a Trinity Transformational Fellow
- Watched over 95% of the graduates of our Youth Empowerment Program, during a thirty year history, matriculate into college.
- Welcomed and trained over 500 university interns and fellows.
- Witnessed over 2000 children participate in over thirty five years of summer leadership camps and programs (which is quite amazing when you think that they are coming from isolated rural towns and farms across upstate New York!) Hosted the annual state-wide Rural Women’s Assembly for over fifteen years welcoming over three thousand participants.
Establishing new programs
- Built a childcare/Headstart program in New Paltz.
- RMM has “incubated” twelve organizations across rural New York, including: CITA, )The Independent Farmworker Center and ADELANTE STUDENT VOICES an organization that supports undocumented students explore their legal status and routes to college.
RMM is founded in 1981.
It creates a daycare center and overnight summer camp for the children of farmworkers, and begins building and renovating housing for migrant farmworkers.
The Rev. Richard Witt is named Executive Director in 1991.
CITA and The Justice for Farmworker Campaign
RMM and farmworkers in Orange County create a farmworker center called CITA (Centro Independiente de Trabjadores Agricolas/ The Independent Farmworker Center). It holds the first Farmworker Advocacy Day, bringing 150 farmworkers to Albany to advocate for their rights.
Farmworkers successfully lobby to pass three laws in New York State
These laws requiring drinking water and field sanitation be supplied on the job, and giving farmworkers the same minimum wage as other laborers. In coalition with other farmworker organizations, is founded, as well as the Youth Arts Group (YAG), creating the groundwork for a committed and innovative rural youth empowerment program.
The Youth Arts Group (YAG) rises out of the Overnight Leadership camp.
Created by high school students, YAG begins to tackle systemic issues impacting YAG members
The Youth Arts Group (YAG) travel to the Mexico border to learn about the North American Free Trade Agreement.
RMM expands its work with farmworker centers in Western New York and the Catskills.
The Justice for Farmworkers Campaign organizes multiple marches across the state.
The first Rural Women’s Assembly, which lays the groundwork for new women’s empowerment and leadership cooperatives around the state.
The Youth Economic Group (YEG) is founded in Sullivan County. YEG is the only union-affiliated youth cooperative in the country.
Alternative Spring Breaks began, with college students participating in educational and advocacy delegations with farmworkers.
After 20 years of campaigning, the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act is passed in 2019, giving farmworkers basic rights like the right to unionize, overtime pay, workers compensation and a day of rest.
RMM expands its work with a new worker education center in Long Island.
The Justice Organization of Youth (JOY) is created by campers from the Overnight Camp in the Finger Lakes out of the Liturgia Center. Using the Theater of the Oppressed they begin to work for change in their region.
The Farmworker Fair Laborer Practice Act goes into effect in 2020. RMM partners with unions around the state to begin implementing the law, and the first farmworker union in New York State is former at Pindar Vineyards in Long Island.
Voices of Long Island Youth (VOLIY) is formed by campers from the Overnight Leadership Camp on the eastern end of Long Island. Using podcasts as their vehicle they begin to work for change.