Sunday, May 13, 2007

Gratitude for World Fair Trade Day

I have just had a tremendous weekend (and it is only Sunday morning!) and am going to use this blogsphere stuff to thank Anne Lalley and her Fair Trade Resource Network for supporting 100 World Fair Trade Day events. Friday night Joe and the good folks at Rapture Cafe in the east village held a book signing and discussion sponsored by the NY Fair Trade Coalition. You may know about their incredible work getting NYC to pass a resolution supporting Fair Trade purchasing by the city government, or Scott Codey--organizer extraordinaire--being interviewed about the hipness of Fair Trade in the NY Times. The Coalition was joined in the event by Think Coffee, offering artisan cheese and yummy wine, Global Goods Partners who featured handcrafted jewelry, and, of-course, Peace Coffee , which always fuels the customers at Rapture. The night ended with songs from Roger Kuhn, a American Native singer. Although I don't think I met anyone from the group on Friday, I was also glad that the Northeast Two Spirit Society, lent their support to the event. One of the driving forces of Fair Trade is its desire to support groups that are traditionally left-out or overlooked. Queer folks of native descent probably have a lot of issues in solidarity with disadvantaged producers around the globe.

Back in my neighborhood of Washington, D.C. on Saturday night, the gang at Hoopla Traders hosted another wine and cheese signing event (maybe I'll switch from book writer to wine expert!). It was wonderful to be surrounded by global and domestic crafts, like the jewelry of my buddy Krissy Maier, and to talk to members of the DC Fair Trade coalition (thanks Jon!) and regular curious consumers about what Fair Trade is, and isn't. Of course, friends turned out too...and I especially appreciate the support of those who know me.

With this blog I'm trying to reach out to others, known and unknown, about Fair Trade because, cliches aside, it really has changed my life. I have encountered and engaged with a range of cultures, lifestyles and philosophies thanks to the people on a Fair Trade path. If you are curious about or committeed to Fair Trade, use this site or others linked above and on the blogroll to reach out and get connected. The movement needs you!

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