Fair trade teach-in and expo coming to JCU

Initiated in 2005, the Ohio Fair Trade Teach-In & Expo brings people of all ages together from across the state to learn about and become more involved in supporting fair trade—a model for socially and environmentally conscious consumerism.

This year’s teach-in and expo, hosted by the Ohio Fair Trade Network and John Carroll University (JCU), will take place on Saturday, Oct. 21, on the JCU campus in University Heights. The free event, open to the public, will feature a marketplace with more than 40 fair trade vendors from across the state, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. A special presentation for participants will occur during a lunch break. A full schedule and further information can be found at http://ohiofairtrade.com/teach-in-expo-2017/.

This year’s main sponsors are Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Fairtrade America, the Fair Trade Federation, the Inter-Religious Task Force on Central America, John Carroll University, the Ohio Fair Trade Network, the Presbytery of the Western Reserve and Revy Fair Trade.

The teach-in will highlight human rights and environmental justice, with three keynote speakers from across the globe.

Farmworker leaders of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a farmworker human rights organization based in Florida, will give the first keynote address. CIW’s fair food program guarantees rights not seen before by farmworkers, including rights to shade and rest breaks, and freedom from sexual harassment and modern-day slavery. The Washington Post called the fair food program a great human rights success story, and the New York Times referred to it as the best workplace-monitoring program in the country.

Cambridge, Massachusettes-based Jonathan Rosenthal, executive director of the New Economy Coalition, will present “Network Weaving: Building Grassroots Power through Collaboration.” Rosenthal has spent more than 30 years working to transform the power of business from a destructive force of accumulation into a healing force honoring the interconnectedness of all people and the planet. He co-founded Equal Exchange, Oke USA and Belmont-Watertown Local First. He has consulted with people and organizations across the trade justice movement.

Alex Escobar Prado, of Jalapa, Guatemala, an activist, educator and member of the Guatemalan environmental justice organization Youth Organized in Defense of Life (JODVID), will present a third keynote. Born of the struggle for community self-determination and resistance to Tahoe Resources’ Escobal silver mine in Guatemala, JODVID uses the arts and popular education to mobilize young people in local and regional movements to protect the environment and defend territory.

This fair trade event will provide an opportunity for visitors to explore fair trade and social justice issues. The event will emphasize education; students should make sure their school is represented in the inaugural Supply Chain Change Awards. Register online at the Ohio Fair Trade Network website, at http://tinyurl.com/ybf5b33v.

Laura Potter- Sadowski

Laura Potter-Sadowski is store manager for One World Shop in Rocky River and serves as a committee member for the Ohio Fair Trade Network.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 1:26 PM, 09.29.2017