Fall 2013 Introduction

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! A new semester has commenced at Penn State Brandywine and the torched had been passed to further promote and raise awareness about the Fair Trade Movement. It is with great excitement that I begin to embark on this journey to advocate the need of Fair Trade on the Brandywine campus, within the local community, and to whomever may come across this blog.

However, I do believe introductions are in order, my name is Leshaun Warner and I will be the Fair Trade intern for Fall 2013. I am currently a senior at Penn State Brandywine majoring in Communications Arts and Science with a minor in Business. During this fall semester I will be taking over the duties of posting to the Penn State Brandywine’s Fair Trade blog and other social media platforms.

I became interested in Fair Trade because everyone deserves the right to be justly compensated for the services or goods they produce. Many people in developing countries are taken advantage of and are unable to provide for themselves or their families. Those products are then sold in the U.S, products that you and I buy, products that support an unjust system. A system where children do not go to school but instead they go to work, a system where people work in hazardous environments with no health benefits, a system where communities are disintegrating. By supporting Fair Trade products you are helping to improve people’s lives by simply choosing to purchase one brand over another. As we embarked on this journey I hope that we can further this movement to greater heights so that we can ensure fair treatment to all.

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– Contributed by Fair Trade Intern, Leshaun Warner

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Summer 2013 Introduction

StoryPeople Making a World

Before I start writing the posts for Penn State Brandywine’s fair trade blog this summer, I thought I should introduce myself.  My name is Megan Draper and I will be the fair trade intern for Summer 2013.  I am a senior at Penn State Brandywine and a psychology major.  My goal is to pursue a career in primatology (the study of nonhuman primates), which is one of the reasons I have become interested in fair trade.  Although equity and social justice are the primary (and important!) motivators of a fair trade system, environmental concerns are also weighed when a product is deemed “fair trade.”  For most primate species to survive in the wild during the coming decades, the sustainability of human food systems is a must, and fair trade is one way to improve food production.  Despite my initial interest through primatology, the more I learned about fair trade, the more I became passionate about fair trade in and of itself.  I hope to share what I find particularly important about fair trade through this blog, and I hope to hear from you in the comments and on our PSU Brandywine Fair Trade Facebook and Twitter.

Contributed by Fair Trade Intern Megan Draper

A TrailBlazer’s Farewell Post

After a year of interning for the Laboratory for Civic Engagement and the Fair Trade Trailblazers, the time has come for me to pass on the torch of justice to the summer fair trade intern, Megan Draper.

The experiences that I have had working for the Laboratory, for Dr. Guertin and David Rosenberg, have taught me some of the most important and challenging lessons. Through the course of my internship, I was able to organize a fundraiser from scratch, a goal that I had been aspiring to accomplish since the very beginning of my college career.

The path to hosting such an event involved a vast series of obstacles, as I learned to consider the more practical aspects of charity work. For instance, being flexible and open to change were the two biggest lessons that I garnered. After spending months planning the Fresh Artists event, Hurricane Sandy unexpectedly came along during the week of the event, bringing all my plans to a screeching halt. It all worked out in the end, though, when a short conversation revamped the entire event, making it more successful than ever! We were able to get students from The Walden School involved, and we not only collected enough money to make a significant contribution to Fresh Artists, but also were able to spread awareness on the fair trade movement.

It was amazing to get involved with people in the local community and to work with everyone to discuss ways to combat human trafficking and unethical labor practices. Of course, my journey does not end here. This internship has given me just the foundation I needed to embark on my own journey to further promote global social justice issues.

I leave today with the powerful words of Anne Frank:

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— Contributed by Fair Trade Intern, Labanya Mookerjee