Teach-In & Expo 2021

Right Now – Fair Trade & Immigration

Saturday, October 23, 2021


John Carroll University, Dolan Science Center (atrium and auditorium), 1 John Carroll Blvd, University Heights OH 44118

Vendor Registration is Close for this year. Thank you for your interest.

TICKETS and SPONSORSHIPS  to Teach-In & Expo 2021 are available through Eventbrite. CLICK HERE to get yours today! (Sponsors: Please click the green “Tickets” button on the Eventbrite page to find options for choosing a level of sponsorship.)

The Ohio Fair Trade Teach-In and Expo, initiated in 2005, brings people of all ages together from across the state to learn about and become more involved in supporting fair trade—a model for socially and environmentally conscious consumerism.

This annual in-person event at John Carroll University (with COVID safety protocols) is expected to bring together hundreds of fair trade supporters, advocates, retailers, and vendors from across the state.  The Expo will be an opportunity to continue building energy around the already vibrant Ohio fair trade movement and previous Expos.  In addition to the Global Marketplace of fair trade vendors, we’ll host educational panels, likely in a hybrid format (in-person/online).

COVID protocol: Facial masks and social distancing are required at all gatherings at John  Carroll University. This is also the health advisory from Cuyahoga County for all indoor events

Note: If this event becomes 100% virtual, we will let everyone know as soon as possible. 


  • Present high quality educational forums to increase attendees’ understanding of  fair trade
  • Provide resources and active campaigns for fair trade supporters to join
  • Create a larger network of socially conscious consumers committed to Fair Trade
  • Offer opportunities for networking amongst vendors, advocates, and supporters from across Ohio

 Please see these links for:




Please bring/ use reusable bottles only. There are water refill stations available .  We will not distribute single-use disposable water bottles. We ask that you not bring them either. 

Late morning/ early afternoon: sandwich wraps (turkey, roast beef, veggie, chicken salad) available for $10 purchase : sandwich, fruit, chips, cookie. No drink included

Fair Trade Raffle: all attendees will be entered into a complimentary door-prize raffle. 

Fair Trade Goodie Bag: imprinted with Ohio Fair Trade Network logo, available for the first 100 participants who arrive on Saturday morning!

Fair Trade t-shirts for sale: The attractive design features the state of Ohio with the word FAIR in the middle, and the Ohio Fair Trade Network logo and website on the back. Printed at union printer Madison Graphics in Lakewood, Ohio. Printed on non-sweatshop shirts that were produced in the United States by Royal Apparel.

Educational panels presented by:

Equal Exchange

Ignatian Solidarity/The Collection/EthixMerch Alliance

Fair World Project

Descriptions of educational panels:

10:30-11:30am: Fair Trade Alliances – in person (and livestreamed), auditorium in Dolan Science Center

COLLECTION is a North Carolina brand disrupting the fashion industry. In addition to a living wage, yearly profit dividends, and optional ownership opportunities, workers are invited into the dignity of the often dehumanizing textile craft. When the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect in 1994, the once-vibrant garment industry virtually abandoned the area. But now, textile factory cooperatives that create the COLLECTION brand (createthecollection.com) are revitalizing the local economy as well as taking innovative approaches to the problem of waste in the fashion industry, including the generation of circular economies. Learn more about the incredible work of these North Carolina mills that have developed a brand of sustainable textile products. Presenter: Julie Myers, the Ethical Purchasing Coordinator at the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN), a longtime supporter of the movement for fair fashion. More about this alliance at: https://ignatiansolidarity.net/blog/2020/07/20/collection-ethical-textile-movement/



Continuing to Build the Alternative Trade Economy in Challenging Times 

For 35 years, Equal Exchange has been dedicated to building an alternative trade model centered around solidarity between democratically organized small farmer cooperatives in the global south and networks of organized consumers in the north. We’ve proven that alternative economic supply chains work, helped farmers gain greater leverage in the global food system, built a robust worker-owned cooperative, and formally aligned with other alternative traders to build an ecosystem of ATOs. But our model is under increasing pressure from corporate consolidation as the food system becomes more financialized in a game of brand acquisition.  Big business wants to appear to have a social conscience and is spending untold marketing dollars in pursuit of a virtuous image. Climate change is accelerating and our farmer partners are feeling it most. Despite all of these challenges, Equal Exchange is one of the leading actors with the most capacity to build a path for radical reform in the market. How can we build a trade system that can withstand these mounting pressures and advance our mission in the decades to come? How can Equal Exchange, IRTF, and other mission-driven organizations better support each other’s work in these challenging times? 

Rink Dickinson – Co-Founder & President, Equal Exchange

Leif Rawson-Ahern – Vice President, Equal Exchange  

Fair Trade : Foundations, Current Realities, Future Challenges 


Fair Trade was started as a solidarity and empowerment movement for small-scale producers in marginalized communities in the global south.  It was started in order to resist the negative impacts of globalization where trade agreements were written for rich countries and multi-national corporations.  These trade deals and structural adjustments programs have created a race to the bottom increasing global poverty while creating even deeper inequalities.  As the Fair Trade movement gained recognition globally and was successful in many ways, it also came up against the competing agenda of corporate interest that writes the rules of trade. Discussed will be how fair trade began, the role of global north traders, activists,  producer organizations and consumers.   We will look at how Fair Trade certification began, what it looks like today and where it is going in the future.  We will answer questions about the role of Multi-national corporations in the movement and if certification scheme’s have weakened their standards for them to participate.  And we will learn how producer networks and solidarity traders are creating transformative change on the ground.  This discussion is intended to inform people on how to understand the Fair Trade movement in its entirety beyond a market based initiative, and will provide tools to combat fair-washing so that we as consumers can help to create more just supply chains. 

Presenter: Dana Geffner, executive director of Fair World Project. Dana Geffner is the co-founder and Executive Director of Fair World Project. For over 2 decades she has worked to raise awareness of a just food system that works in solidarity with small-scale farmers and artisans, protects worker’s rights and encourages trade policy transformation that benefit people and the planet. Her passion is to engage consumers so they can participate in creating a more just economy through the market and in transforming policy. Dana holds an MPA from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and a Graduate Certificate in Food Systems from the Berkeley Food Institute

SPONSORS John Carroll University, Diocesan Social Action Office Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland, InterReligious Task Force on Central America & Colombia, Revy Fair Trade, Threads Worldwide.