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Justice for Migrant Women Founder and President Receives James Beard Leadership Award

Mónica Ramírez Celebrated For National Leadership in Food Justice

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#HumansWhoFeedUs–Demonstrating national leadership in amplification of critical issues impacting workers in the food industry, Justice for Migrant Women Founder and President Mónica Ramírez received a James Beard Leadership Award today at an exclusive reception and ceremony.

Ramírez was lauded for The Humans Who Feed Us, a portrait project that humanizes and highlights immigrant community members who work across the food supply chain, shows the interdependence among businesses, the workers they employ and consumers; and fosters a sense of belonging for community members in the place where they live and work.

“I am honored to be able to amplify the voices of the migrant workers that put food on our tables,” Ramírez said. “By showing the people behind our food, and the celebration and community that food provides, we’re able to connect others with their stories, and the myriad challenges they face. Awareness is a critical first step in advocating for better conditions.”

Thousands of individuals work across the food supply chain, ranging from agricultural workers, restaurant workers, grocery store employees, truck drivers, meat and poultry workers, and so many others. Immigrant community members are among those who help to feed us through their work. Many of these workers are often invisible to people and the communities where they work and live even though they touch our lives every day through their life-sustaining labor.

The Humans Who Feed Us seeks to center these workers, their stories, their contributions, and their priorities. The project was piloted in Sandusky County in Ohio with eight stories and then nationally launched in November of 2021 with feature photos and narratives of 21 workers’ lived experiences.

The annual James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards spotlight the important and complex realms of sustainability, food justice, and public health. They raise awareness of these timely issues by celebrating the visionaries responsible for creating a healthier, safer, more equitable and sustainable food system. Five individuals are honored annually.

The Leadership Awards recognize specific outstanding initiatives as well as bodies of work and lifetime achievement. The excellence of work, innovation in approach, and scale of impact within a community or the nation are among the criteria used to select the recipients. Honorees are chosen by a volunteer committee of experts and the cohort of past Leadership Award recipients.

Justice for Migrant Women protects and advances migrant women’s rights through education, public awareness and advocacy. The organization aims to ensure that all migrant women are guaranteed human and civil rights, with freedom of mobility, the ability to live and work with dignity, and the right to be free of threats of violence against them and their families. Justice for Migrant Women supports all migrant women, whether they are migrating across borders, around regions or within the states.

Ramírez founded Justice for Migrant Women in 2014 after a series of social justice campaigns built on her vision for addressing workplace sexual violence, as well as advancing gender equity and security in all areas of migrant women’s lives. To learn more about Justice for Migrant Women, visit


Heather Hansen

Humanity Communications Collective

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