ECU health sciences library hosting webinar series on issues facing migrant farmworkers


GREENVILLE, N.C. — Farmworkers make vital contributions to the nation’s economy and food systems. But because of working conditions, they often experience serious challenges, including health disparities, food insecurities, higher instances of pesticide exposure and a lack of digital connectivity.

Beginning this month, East Carolina University’s Laupus Health Sciences Library Diversity Committee, in collaboration with the N.C. Farmworker Health Program, ECU College of Health and Human Performance, Student Action with Farmworkers and the N.C. State Agromedicine Extension, will present a webinar series focusing on issues facing migrant and seasonal farmworkers in the United States.

The series will highlight how a Laupus Library grant project and programs that provide internet access help address these health disparities.

The scheduled events include:

A keynote address on Oct. 20 at 11 a.m. titled, “Digital Inclusion for North Carolina Farmworkers in a Pandemic: Lessons for Implementing and Promoting a Sustainable Internet Connectivity,” presented by Natalie Rivera, internet connectivity project coordinator for the N.C. Farmworker Health Program with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Rural Health, and Leslie Cofie, assistant professor in the Department of Health Education and Promotion in ECU’s College of Health and Human Performance. 

A screening of the film “Harvest of Dignity” will be followed by a discussion with Student Action with Farmworkers staff and interns on Oct. 27 at 10:30 a.m. The discussion will be moderated by Eve Portillo, advisory panel member and governing board member of the N.C. Farmworker Health Program.

A panel discussion, “Digital Equity and why Digital Inclusion affects Health Outcomes,” on Nov. 3 at 10:30 a.m. will focus on digital equity and inclusion and how this affects delivery of health care for migrant and seasonal farmworkers. Panelists include Dr. Amy Sheon, president of Public Health Innovators, LLC, and research director of the national Telehealth Equity Coalition; Rosa Miranda, Surry Medical Ministries; and Jessica Rodriguez, Vecinos: Farmworker Health Program. The panel will be moderated by Paula Acevedo, undergraduate research assistant on a National Library of Medicine grant. Register to attend these virtual events by visiting For more information about the series, contact Jamie Bloss at or 252-744-3055

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