Make a difference with Fair Trade products
Fair Trade is an economic system that ensures farmers, artisans and workers in developing nations receive a living wage for their products in the marketplace. Purchasing Fair Trade products improves the economic lives of workers, and ensures that products are grown, harvested, crafted and traded in environmentally appropriate ways.
NYSUT has partnered with Fair Trade Campaigns USA, a national grassroots movement to foster and promote Fair Trade practices in communities, congregations, college campuses and schools nationwide. Fair Trade Campaigns USA offers ready-to-use campaign materials to promote Fair Trade — including toolkits, lesson plans and ideas for contests and other events. The initiative is part of a worldwide movement to expand Fair Trade. For information, visit http://fairtradecampaigns.org.
Highlight Fair Trade in your community, congregation or on your campus with these materials: http://fairtradecampaigns.org/resources/; http://equalexchange.coop/programs/education/introductory-materials; http://equalexchange.coop/programs/education/video-powerpoint.
Make Fair Trade a teachable moment in your school with these curriculum resources: http://fairtradecampaigns.org/resources/; www.nysut.org/resources/all-listing/2009/september/fair-trade-curriculum-resources.
— Compiled by Kara Smith
Halloween program raises awareness about child labor
By Kara Smith
Give and receive treats this Halloween by participating in "Reverse Trick-or-Treating," a NYSUT initiative to raise awareness of the widespread use of forced child labor on many cocoa farms. The concept is simple: On Halloween night, after receiving a "treat," offer a gift in return — a mini Fair Trade chocolate bar, and a card promoting the purchase of fairly traded products.
"This program is a great opportunity to bring social justice awareness into the classroom, particularly with regard to child labor," said NYSUT Vice President Paul Pecorale, explaining that forced child labor is still common in overseas cocoa production. "We want to help students see beyond their communities and realize we're all part of one world."
Reverse Trick-or-Treating kits are $6, plus shipping, for 20 Fair Trade chocolate minis and informational cards, or $45, plus shipping, for 150 chocolates and cards.
Email orders to firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct. 16 and type "Reverse TOT" in the subject line. Kits should arrive within 10 business days; supplies are limited. And remember: If you participate, let us know! Share your photos and videos at #NYSUTFT or at www.facebook.com/NYSUTUnited, the NYSUT United Facebook page.
SOCIAL JUSTICE CALENDAR
Reverse Trick or Treating isn't the only social justice initiative this fall. Mark your calendar with these important dates:
Oct. 5 World Teachers' Day
Oct. 10 World Mental Health Day
Oct. 11 National Coming Out Day
Oct. 24 United Nations Day
Nov. 15-21 American Education Week
Nov. 25 International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women
Nov. 29-Dec. 5 Buy Union Week
Dec. 1 World AIDS day
Dec. 3 International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Dec. 10 International Human Rights Day
Jan. 18 Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Jan. 27 World Holocaust Remembrance Day