The estimated 50,000 farmworkers living throughout Pennsylvania’s rural regions are the bedrock of our state’s $7.8 billion agricultural industry, yet they are uniquely targeted by exploitative structures due to socioeconomic, linguistic, and geographic isolation. We are seeking to create a visualization of the geographic spread and intensity of immigrant farmworkers’ isolation from vital resources like affordable food, healthcare, domestic violence shelters, legal services, language access, and public transportation to access those resources. We envision products similar to maps that show food deserts, only this project would take into account multiple types of resources as signifiers of isolation and would span several counties. This data visualization project would expose the scale and scope of isolation experienced by those who feed us everyday.
We would use a compilation of data sets to quantify farmworker isolation and propose actionable solutions:
We are hoping for several final products targeting different audiences. Each will demonstrate farmworker isolation by comparing where farmworkers live with their relative distance from and access to a variety of social services. We envision three main final products: individual county maps with average access to a particular resource type, individual county maps demonstrating access to all of the resource types, and a state-wide map of average access to all resource types. This analysis would help us learn what potential local solutions need to be proposed based on the data for each region.
These maps will be a resource for all those working toward economic and immigrant justice in PA with the immediate impact of better connecting service providers and workers, and the long-term impact of connecting advocates and policy-makers to increase equitable creation and distribution of resources to working immigrant communities. This visual analysis would allow PFP and our partners to understand the sociopolitical dynamics of rural life in farmworker communities with more accuracy. Moreover, it would help us all conduct outreach more effectively by clearly identifying both level of severity and type of need by region and by helping farmworkers to utilize the services that do indeed exist. Where they are found to be lacking, this map would make for stronger advocacy for service expansion.