Fair Trade Trailblazers updates

This past weekend the Laboratory for Civic Engagement and Fair Trade Trailblazers participated in Penn State Day which took place October 26, 2013. The event was full of games, music, food, and fun. Many Penn Staters, Alumni, and residents of the media community came out and join in the numerous festivities that took place on the Brandywine campus. We where able to advocate the need to Buy Fair, Be Fair in the closing days of Fair Trade Month. Image

Contributed by Leshaun Warner, Fair Trade Intern

Fall 2013 Farewell Post

storypeople_connectionAs the fall semester gets underway, my time as the summer intern is coming to a close.  This will be my last post as the official fair trade intern.  I enjoyed updating the Penn State Brandywine fair trade blog and social media sites over the summer, and I look forward to taking part in the fair trade events that are going to be taking place on campus this school year.  Be sure to check this blog, as well as our Facebook and Twitter to receive updates on upcoming events.  I am handing over the fair trade internship to Leshaun Warner, who I know will do an excellent job as the fall semester intern.

On the 26th, I will be leaving to spend time as an undergraduate research assistant in Borneo, Indonesia.  I will be volunteering for seven weeks with the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop) and earning course credit as a Penn State Brandywine student.  While I’m away, I’ll be keeping my eyes open for fair trade related products.  I also hope to gain firsthand insight on the environmental and social challenges facing developing countries, challenges which fair trade attempts to alleviate.

I encourage all Penn State Brandywine students to not only consider becoming a Fair Trade Trailblazer but to take advantage of the opportunities that only occur at a smaller campus.  I do not think that I would be having the opportunity to earn Penn State credit in Borneo as an undergrad if I had not attended Penn State Brandywine.  I wish the Fair Trade Trailblazers the best of luck and I look forward to continuing my involvement with the campus fair trade program when I return.

Contributed by Fair Trade Intern Megan Draper

Looking for Fair Trade-themed art from PSU Brandywine students

Calling all Art Enthusiasts! The Penn State Brandywine Fair Trade TrailBlazers are now collecting artwork from any student for the 2013 “Spring into Art” Exhibition to be held by the Media Arts Council in early May! The exhibit will feature artwork created by students from The Walden School, Penncrest High School, and Penn State Brandywine.  Please consider submitting any original piece of artwork that reflects on what Fair Trade means to you. This is a great opportunity to get involved in the community and contribute to a meaningful cause. The deadline for submissions is on Friday, April 26th. If you are interested and would like more details, please contact Labanya Mookerjee at labanya@psu.edu. Thank you!

ArtEdit Flyer Media-page-001

Mid-Atlantic Fair Trade Student Leadership Training

It all started with an idea for an event… and then, making the event happen!

Join Fair Trade Colleges & Universities and our host Penn State Brandywine for the Mid-Atlantic Fair Trade Student Training! The training session will focus on helping students, faculty, administration and others organize their campaigns in order to become the next Fair Trade College or University.

Sharpen your tools and skills, learn what others are doing on campus to promote Fair Trade and get to know the network of students, faculty and staff across the region who are working on Fair Trade College & University campaigns!

Guiding the training will be:

Dr. Laura Guertin – Founder of the Fair Trade Trailblazers and professor at Penn State Brandywine, the first Fair Trade University in PA and 8th in the nation.

Sarah DeMartino –  National Steering Committee Member for Fair Trade Colleges & Universities, and student leader of Fair Trade Penn State at Penn State University Main Campus. Sarah also served on the Trailblazers steering committee before transferring to PSU-Main Campus.

Billy Linstead Goldsmith – National Coordinator of Fair Trade Campaigns

Sarah DeMartino (left, Penn State University Park) and Aimee Ralph (Penn State Brandywine) as the "welcome bananas" for today's events!

Sarah DeMartino (left, Penn State University Park) and Aimee Ralph (Penn State Brandywine) as the “welcome bananas” for today’s event!

So on a sunny-yet-windy day (with La Colombe Fair Trade coffee to warm us up from Seven Stones Cafe in Media!), students and faculty from Penn State Brandywine, Penn State University Park, Saint Joseph’s University, Cabrini College, and Drexel University gathered at the Brandywine campus to spend time discussing individual campus campaigns for Fair Trade University status.  The group discussed a range of topics from successes and challenges to having events on campus, to renewing leadership, and engaging the faculty, staff, food providers, bookstore managers, and everyone else on campus in creating a sustainable effort and program for Fair Trade.

A range of Fair Trade-themed events have been taking place at our schools.  Drexel and Penn State University Park have shown Fair Trade movies.  Saint Joe’s held a tasting event with chocolate (Kopali), tea (Runa), and soda (Maine Root).  Cabrini College held a Fair Trade Catholic College Philly gathering with speakers from Philly Fair Trade Coffee and Ten Thousand Villages.  Penn State Brandywine shared the success of our Fair Trade Clothesline Art Sale.  All of us want to increase the opportunities for students to take trips that incorporate Fair Trade and to purchase (or at least taste) Fair Trade food items – to quote Billy, we want to “taste the equity!”

The day ended with everyone thinking about how to prepare for the fall semester.  Yes, even though the spring semester hasn’t ended yet, it is important for all of us to think about how to keep the momentum of our efforts continuing through the summer and to start the fall semester strong with recruiting efforts.  At least in southeast PA, we hope to get students/faculty together from our neighboring colleges for one or two Fair Trade meetings to continue today’s conversations.  Anyone up for some Ben & Jerry’s Fair Trade ice cream this summer?  😉

— Contributed by Dr. Laura Guertin

The TrailBlazers get a graduation shout-out in Fig!

The Fair Trade TrailBlazers are thrilled to have a shout-out in the Spring 2013 issue of Fig Media, PA magazine!  Thank you, Fig, for your kind words and recognizing the hard work of our students for the local Fair Trade community and beyond.  And what an honor it is to be on the same page as Hal Taussig! If you don’t have a paper copy of the issue, flip to page 30 in this electronic version.

Explore the issue online!

We are starting an e-newsletter! Sign up now!

We are going to begin sending out periodic updates for Fair Trade news and events at Penn State Brandywine.  If you are interested in keeping in the loop and maybe attending and/or volunteering at some of our events (such as our tentatively scheduled Fair Trade S’mores event, second Fair Trade t-shirt exchange, and volunteering at Media’s Fair Trade Fair), we encourage you to sign up!

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Updating our Faculty and Staff on Fair Trade

Today we TrailBlazers met with our staff and faculty at Penn State Brandywine to update them about Fair Trade, what our campus has been doing, what tasks we still hope to accomplish, and what kind of community involvement we need to further the movement. It was a successful meeting, and we were happy with the kinds of questions asked, like how can Fair Trade be implemented into classes, how do we go from education and awareness to action, where do we see our campus a few years down the line, and so on. The meeting gave us a lot to think about in terms of sparking passion in the community and keeping the momentum going.

Our hope is to make the Fair Trade movement on campus not only a student initiative, but one that brings the faculty, staff, and administration into the fold as well. We discussed how student clubs on campus have been mostly student oriented, and while a Fair Trade club is a good idea, we want to include everyone on campus. In essence, by bringing Fair Trade to Penn State Brandywine, we hope to change the culture in a positive, more communal way, so that the student body and the faculty, staff, and administration, have something in common to gather around.

That kind of togetherness is already starting to bud, and from the meeting today, it is easy to see how passionate our community is becoming. It’s hard to say where this will be in several years, even a year, but I can’t think of a better rallying point than Fair Trade.

-Contributed by Sarah DeMartino, Fair Trade Intern