14th annual Fair Trade Expo comes to JCU
“There is no better way to eradicate poverty, strengthen families, and better our global community than through the empowerment of women,” said Kara Valentine, co-founder of Threads Worldwide, a social enterprise that provides sustainable income opportunities for women worldwide through the creation and sale of fair trade jewelry and accessories.
Valentine and Angela Melfi, Threads co-founder, will be the keynote speakers at the Ohio Fair Trade Teach-in & Expo on Saturday, Oct. 26, at John Carroll University’s Dolan Science Center.
Fair trade, a system of commerce that is respectful and equitable to both purchasers and producers, has made access to education, dignified housing, and work much more possible. This, in turn, means that families have a greater chance of staying together and avoiding a treacherous journey to migrate elsewhere.
Sharing the success stories of artisans and partners who are working in fair trade communities, and bringing fairly traded goods to the Northeast Ohio market, are the main goals of the Ohio Fair Trade Expo. Now in its 14th year, the expo showcases approximately 30 vendors displaying work by artisans from throughout the world and provides an ideal opportunity for early holiday shopping.
“Not only does the fair trade market provide handmade, unique goods to give as thoughtful gifts to your friends and family, but it provides an opportunity to shop your values; providing opportunities, empowerment and advantages to those living in poverty situations and allowing them to create long-lasting, meaningful change in their own lives as well,” said Laura Potter-Sadowski, manager of One World Shop, Cleveland’s oldest nonprofit fair trade organization.
The Ohio Fair Trade Teach-in & Expo will take place on Oct. 26, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Registration is free through Eventbrite.
Lunch will be available for purchase from the Italian Creations food truck and from nearby eateries. Attendees are welcome to bring their own lunch or snacks.
Rachel Jewell is a member of the Ohio Fair Trade Network and a fair trade advocate.