Fair Trade in the Congregation: A Catholic Perspective

This is the 4th guest post by CFT board member Andrea Dennis chronicling the experience of CFT’s members. Her first post depicted her own experience, followed by interviewing a student member from DePaul, Helena Duecker, and then a local social enterprise director. Andrea has been a board member of CFT since 2013, is a longtime individual member, and the Outreach Director at Greenheart International.  I have the esteemed privilege to connect with Marilyn Antonik of Old St. Pat's. Marilyn is an educator, social justice activist, and a key mover 'n shaker in bringing fair trade to religious institutions. Having been raised Catholic,…Read more

The Dill Pickle: A Driver for Change in the Fair Trade Food Movement

This is a guest post written by Carolyn Stypka, an aspiring macro social worker and sustainable foods enthusiast. Carolyn is passionate about spreading the message of how we can take control of how we feed our bodies, while also protecting the entire community, peoples, and the earth. Having lived and worked in southern Japan, having spent time on a small organic farm, and having worked in housekeeping at a remote mountain village in the Northern Cascades, she is well equipped to explore how fair trade can relate to our food systems here in Chicago.  A model of…Read more

Fair Trade gaining steam at colleges and universities

This is a guest post written by Sophia Zaller, a freshman at the University of Chicago. Sophia began interning at Chicago Fair Trade this year, working on the planning for the World Fair Trade Day Market and outreach. She took a few minutes recently to chat with a few students from the Chicago area about the Fair Trade movements at their respective Universities, about which she shares here.  Fair Trade Campaigns is an organization that mobilizes Fair Trade consumerism and advocacy in institutions across the United States to increase the availability and awareness…Read more

Fair Trade Stands Up to Chicago Youth Unemployment

This is the 3rd guest post by CFT board member Andrea Dennis chronicling the experience of CFT’s members. Her first post depicted her own experience as a member of CFT, followed by interviewing a student member from DePaul, Helena Duecker. Andrea has been a board member of CFT since 2013, is a longtime individual member, and the Outreach Director at Greenheart International.  Today, Andrea is speaking with business member and friend, Dana Emanuel (pictured second from the right, below), the Assistant Director of Workforce Development of New Moms Inc., in the third blog of her…Read more

CFT Gets the Credit for Helping to form the Fair Trade Committee at DePaul

This is the 2nd guest post by CFT board member Andrea Dennis chronicling the experience of CFT's members. Her first post depicted her own experience as an individual member of CFT. Today, she's talking with student member Helena Duecker about the importance of getting involved with fair trade movements as a university student. Andrea has been serving on the board of Chicago Fair Trade since 2013. She is a longtime individual member and the Outreach Director at Greenheart International.  Andrea: First off, tell me a little bit about yourself, Helena. Where are you from,…Read more
10 Years of Fair Trade in Chicago: A Retrospective with Founding Member Mata Traders

10 Years of Fair Trade in Chicago: A Retrospective with Founding Member Mata Traders

This is a guest post written by CFT volunteer Ashley Rowan. All photos are courtesy of Mata Traders.   With the 10th Anniversary of Chicago Fair Trade approaching, I paid a visit to one of the original founding members, Mata Traders, to learn about the fair trade journey through their lens. A bright March day finds me strolling up to the converted 1916 warehouse building where Mata Traders has made its home. Three flights of stairs later, I am greeted by kind voices, smiling faces, and warm light pouring through their many windows. The space…Read more

Does Membership REALLY Matter?

This is a guest post by CFT board member Andrea Dennis. Andrea has been serving on the board of Chicago Fair Trade since 2013. She is a longtime individual member and the Outreach Director at Greenheart International. I often wonder what happens when I join an organization. Surely, my monthly or annual payment is put toward good use, I think, as I sign the dotted line. Months later I receive the annual report sharing projects, latest crises, followed by the request to continue and increase my membership contribution. It is cycle that even the most…Read more
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