Former farmer, turned activist Charles D. Thompson, Jr., has led student groups to the US-Mexico Border for seven years now. At the acclaimed Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University, Thompson serves as Director of Undergraduate Studies, and also Professor of the Practice of Cultural Anthropology. His lifelong interest in food justice and migrant workers began while farming in Chatham County, NC, and developed as he served in leadership roles at farmers markets and earned a PhD in Religion and Culture, from UNC-Chapel Hill.

His compelling books and films intertwine agriculture and immigration, culture and philosophy: Brother Towns (the Guatemala and Florida-set documentary); The Guestworker, (the award-winning, nuanced portrait of a 66-year-old migrant worker); The Old German Baptist Brethren (about faith, farming, and change in the Virginia Blue Ridge); Spirits of Just Men (about mountaineers, liquor bosses, and lawmen in the moonshine capital of the world); and The Human Cost of Food (farmworkers’ lives, labor, and advocacy); and finally Border Odyssey, to be published April 15, 2015.

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