Funders for a Just Economy Florida Learning Tour

This event is for NFG members, Florida Philanthropic Network members, and other funders only. You will be asked to log in to the website in order to register for this event. If you need to create a login, please do so here, and then register for the event. Feel free to contact Manisha Vaze at if you have trouble with registering. 

The registration fee for this event is $150.


From Native people to migrants and retirees, people have long sought to live in Florida for its climate, land, and resources. Known as the “Sunshine State" and situated in the southern United States with a culture that is both Southern and Caribbean, Florida is an epicenter for economic opportunity in agriculture and trade.

However, Florida has also long been an epicenter of inequality. Industries there have used forced labor practices through slavery and Jim Crow. Prison labor for state infrastructure improvements continues to exist today. Moreover, stark disparities in health, income and wealth outcomes persist based on race, ethnicity, and gender and have led to huge differences in the quality of life amongst Floridians. Income data indicate that earners in the top 1% make 39.5 times that of the other 99%, making Florida one of the most unequal in the United States. [1]

In addition to this economic inequality, tragedies such as Trayvon Martin’s murder in 2012, the murders at Pulse Nightclub in 2016, Hurricane Maria, the murders at Stoneman Douglas High School in early 2018, and an increasing number of prison strikes have highlighted how Florida faces deep divides by race, gender identity, and migration status. Considering these challenges, social movements in Florida have focused on farmworkers and workers’ rights, migrants’ rights, civil rights, and criminal system reform. These movements have achieved significant wins and built the power of communities, as evidenced recently by the campaign to restore voting rights to people returning from the criminal system.

You are invited to join Funders for a Just Economy (FJE) on April 8-10, 2019 to learn more about Florida’s history and the workers’ rights issues, and their relation to immigration policy, migrant justice, women’s rights and gender justice, health and safety policies, mass incarceration, and civic engagement. Participants will see how diverse communities are building power and political infrastructure for long term change. They will also learn how women of color in particular are leading the charge to shift economic policy and end sexual harassment and abuse at the workplace.

Planning Committee: The tour is co-planned by: Cheri Wright Jones (Allegany Franciscan Ministries), Geula Ferguson (Florida Philanthropic Network), Jose Garcia (Ford Foundation), Puja Dhawan (NoVo Foundation), Sienna Baskin (NEO Philanthropy), and Manisha Vaze (NFG's Funders for a Just Economy).

For any questions, please contact Manisha Vaze, Senior Program Manager of Funders for a Just Economy, at


Agenda At a Glance

  April 8, 2019 | Beginning at 3pm

3:00pm: Welcome and Introductions

4:00pm: History of Race and Labor in Florida – SEIU

5:00pm: Centering LGBTQ+ issues and the Contigo Fund: Contigo Fund, Central Florida Jobs with Justice, QLatinx

6:30pm: Dinner (Open invitation to Florida-based funders who cannot join us for the full tour)

  April 9, 2019 | All Day

8:00am: The Fair Food Program, Standards, and Training: Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Fair Food Standards Council, and VIDA Legal Assistance

3:00pm: Emerging Tactics in Organizing: Alianza, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Alliance for Safety and Justice

6:30pm: Dinner

  April 10, 2019 | Ending at 2pm

8:30am: Building Power with a Femme Agenda: Miami Worker Center, WeCount!, & others

10:15: Building Power in Coalition: Interactive panel with the Florida Statewide Alignment Group (SWAG), including Florida Immigrant Coalition, Central Florida Jobs with Justice, Organize Florida, Faith in Florida, Florida New Majority, Dream Defenders, & SEIU

12:30pm: Funder Discussion & Lunch

2:00pm: Close & Depart



  • Please book your round trip flights to Fort Myers, Florida (Airport Code: RSW) for this tour. 
  • The tour will begin on Monday, April 8, 2019 at 3 pm at the hotel. It will end on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, at 2 pm.
  • Participants are asked to stay at the The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village. FJE has reserved a special room rate for your stay. You will have access to the special rate link once you register for the event. Nightly hotel fees include breakfast at the hotel.


[1] Adapted from Estelle Sommeiller and Mark Price, The New Gilded Age: Income Inequality in the U.S. by State, Metropolitan Area, and County, Economic Policy Institute Report, July 2018. Accessed online: