Each year, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) hosts a benefit concert to raise funds to support the ongoing fight to bring justice to migrant workers throughout the Midwest and South, and now local Latinos. This year’s FLOC’s benefit concert was entitled Songs for Justice, and was venued at Forrester’s on the River restaurant.
FLOC President Baldemar Velásquez and the Aguila Negra Band entertained a full house with songs that told tales of the struggles migrant workers face as they stand up for their rights.
The theme song for the night was titled Solo Le Pido Adios /I only ask of God written by León Giego. This song asks its listeners to not be indifferent to injustice and discrimination in the world but to fight alongside the poor and exploited. Shouts of approval rang throughout the hall as audience members found themselves moved by the music.
The guests of honor during the night were Sesario and Lucy Durán, longtime residents of Toledo. They were honored for their many years of support and commitment to FLOC and the community.
Father Richard Notter, retired pastor of SS. Peter & Paul Church, described Sesario and Lucy as, “always dedicated, providing nothing but support for their church and community, and always humble.“
Velásquez shared some of the many experiences he and the Duráns have had throughout the many years of marching, rallying, and fighting for the rights of others. A moving slide show to the backdrop music of “Pioneer” documented Sesario and Lucy’s history in the many marches, rallies since 1968. He and all of FLOC’s staff presented the Duráns with a commemorative plaque and gifts as a token of thanks for all they have done, and all the support they continue to give.
When presented with the gifts, Christiana Wagner, daughter of Velásquez, shared these words with the audience: ”Sesario and Lucy Durán have a rich history with FLOC and we are truly blessed to honor them tonight. Sesario and Lucy have been with FLOC from day one. At every march and rally, they represented a sense of passion and justice that is truly irreplaceable. Through the hard times of struggle, they stood by our side. Through the great times of victory, they rejoiced with us.
“Working hard, as a part of the FLOC family, Sesario and Lucy have been unwavering in their dedication and commitment to the cause. It has been a true honor to watch them grow in family and in faith. Their faith has been a true testament of their loyalty and character. Their countless prayer meetings with staff and friends touch the heart of what FLOC stands for: Justice and passion for giving a voice for those who do not have one.
“We wish them well in whatever life brings. A simple thank you does not seem to be enough, so tonight, let us celebrate their service and their commitment to seeing justice brought to life!“
The event was a success as community members and sponsors enjoyed the presence of one another and celebrated the many victories FLOC has had due the hard work and dedication of people like the Duráns, FLOC staff, and countless community volunteers.
The Farm Labor Organizing Committee/Campaign for Migrant Workers Justice would like to thank all those who sponsored the event and continue to provide support.
FLOC recognizes that building a strong community is imperative to making changes and creating opportunities for the disadvantaged. FLOC encourages the public to become an associate member. Visit the FLOC website at floc.com for membership details, and how your support can make a big difference. The fight for justice is never ending; your support helps FLOC provide a voice for others.