College of Liberal Arts & Sciences / Humanities

President of Oregon’s farmworker union to speak on campus

Ramon Ramirez

Ramon Ramirez, president of Pineros y Campesinos del Noroeste (PCUN – Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United)

Western Oregon University (WOU) welcomes Ramon Ramirez, president of Pineros y Campesinos del Noroeste (PCUN – Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United), who will speak at WOU’s Academic Excellence Showcase (AES) on Thursday, May 31. His presentation will be at 8:30 a.m. in the Pacific Room of Werner University Center.

Ramirez is the invited speaker for a session organized by the Spanish 399 course. In this course, students participate in the outreach program Building Bridges, where they visit Hispanic homes in the Willamette Valley to teach English, DMV rules, citizenship topics, and other skills for immigrants’ survival in the United States. In addition to the presentation by Ramirez, students of this course will speak about their experiences.

Dr. Eduardo Gonzalez-Viana, professor of Spanish and award-winning author, believes Ramirez to be a recognized successor of Cesar Chavez. “Ramon and I have long been comrades in the fight for immigrants’ rights to education, culture and the attainment of happiness.  For this reason, I have invited Ramon to attend my class Academic Excellence presentation and he has agreed. I believe sincerely that his visit to our campus will be historic.”

An internationally renowned fighter for human rights, Ramirez is a lifelong activist. He co-founded PCUN in 1985 and has been the organization’s president since 1997. He also co-founded CAUSA, Oregon’s immigrants rights coalition, in 1996 and has served as one of it principal leaders. Ramirez serves on the board of director’s of the Farmworker Housing Development Corporation, Center for Social Inclusion, Farmworker Justice, Alliance for a Just Society and the United Farmworkers of America Foundation. He is also an advisor on free trade to U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.

Ramirez was awarded the 2003 Leadership for a Changing World by the Ford Foundation, The Jeannette Rankin Award and is a Alston/Bannerman Fellow. In 2009, he was awarded the UTNE Reader 50 Visionary of the World Award and recently was chosen Latino Hero of the year by Regency of Oregon.

About the Academic Excellence Showcase
The AES is an annual event the celebrates scholarly activities of WOU students. The entire day is dedicated to presentations of research papers, projects, artwork, performances and more. The showcase is organized by the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and the Program for Undergraduate Research Experiences. Click for more information about the event and a full schedule of events.

About PCUN
Located in Woodburn, PCUN is Oregon’s union of farmworkers, nursery, and reforestation workers, and Oregon’s largest Latino organization. PCUN’s fundamental goal is to empower farmworkers to understand and take action against systematic exploitation and all of its effects. To achieve this end, PCUN is involved in community and workplace organizing on many different levels.

Founded in 1985 by 80 farmworkers, PCUN has since registered more than 5,000 members, 98 percent of which are Mexican and Central American immigrants, and to encompass a wide variety of organizing projects.

Interview contacts:
Dr. Eduardo Gonzalez-Viana
Professor of Spanish
503-838-8249 or

Ramon Ramirez
President, PCUN

2 thoughts on “President of Oregon’s farmworker union to speak on campus

  1. Not so sure that a talk by a Union leader is so purposeful, a talk about assimilating into a new country would be better! This garbage of rights for illegals is just plain stupid!

  2. M. Wichrowski, promoting human rights is not ‘stupid’. Exploitation of a person, undocumented or documented, is wrong. I am looking forward to this talk.You should attend and see what you can learn from it too.

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