Ohio Fair Trade Expo comes to JCU on Oct. 1

Attend a workshop on weaving or purchase a hand-woven item at the expo marketplace.

The Ohio Fair Trade Expo and Teach-In is coming back to John Carroll University (JCU) on Saturday, Oct. 1. Thanks to the generous support of Ben & Jerry’s in University Heights, and others, this year’s event will be free to the public. 

Registration for the event begins at 9:30 a.m. at JCU’s Dolan Center, where the fair trade marketplace begins. Attendees can expect to leave the expo with an abundance of donated fair trade goodies.

Dana Geffner, executive director of the Fair World Project (FWP), will kick-off the event as keynote speaker at 10 a.m. FWP, an independent arm of the Organic Consumers Association, seeks to protect the use of the term "fair tradein the marketplace, expand markets for authentic fair trade items, educate consumers about key issues in trade and agriculture, and advocate for policies leading to a just economy.

This year’s expo features speakers on such topics as women’s empowerment, fair trade fashion, and the environment.

Another highlight of this year’s expo is the attendance of Marcos Bautista from Manos Zapotecas, a Mexican-based fair trade retailer. Born and raised on the outskirts of Teotitlán, Mexico, Bautista walked the dirt road into town almost daily to attend the village school, continuing his education through the Technological University in Oaxaca City.

He now holds a degree in engineering, and currently lives in Indiana and travels the U.S. sharing his love of weaving and the story of his Oaxacan community. Attendees can hear his story during his workshop at 11 a.m., and also find hand-woven goods to purchase in the marketplace.  

Various organizations, such as the Fair Trade Federation and Ten Thousand Villages Cleveland, are among the many participants in this year’s expo and teach-in.

Workshops will be held at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., with a lunch and shopping break in between. At 2 p.m. featured speakers will join a panel discussion in the auditorium to share information and answer questions from the audience. For more information about the day’s events, go to ohiofairtrade.com/teach-in-expo-2016.   


Laura Potter-Sadowski

Laura Potter-Sadowski is executive director of Ten Thousand Villages in Cleveland Heights and a board member of Heights Community Congress.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 3:12 PM, 09.01.2016