Teach-In & Expo 2017

Mark your calendars! The next Ohio Fair Trade Teach-In & Expo will be October 21, 2017.


Initiated in 2005, The Teach-In & Expo brings people together from across the state to learn about and become more involved in supporting FAIR TRADE – a model for socially and environmentally conscious consumerism.

Teach-In & Expo 2017 hosted by the Ohio Fair Trade Network and John Carroll University is scheduled for October 21, 2017 at the John Carroll campus in University Heights.  We have a range of workshops from basics of fair trade principles to fair trade certification.  This year, we have a special presentation during the lunch break.

Main sponsors are Ohio Fair Trade Network, John Carroll Univeristy, InterReligious Task Force on Central America, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Fair Trade America and Fair Trade Federation, Revy Fair Trade and the Presbytery of the Western Reserve.

We are thrilled to be hosting:
10am: Food Justice: Farm to Table

Natalia Naranjo, Alliance for Fair Food, & Oscar Otzoy, Coalition of Immokalee Workers (Immokalee, FL)

11am – Q&A

Farmworker leaders of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a farmworker human rights organization based in Immokalee, Florida, will be joining us. The CIW’s Fair Food Program (FFP) guarantees rights never before seen for farmworkers, such as rights to shade and rest breaks from their grueling work, and zero tolerance for sexual harassment and modern slavery. Since 2011, participating buyers have paid more than $25 million through the FFP, constituting the first real pay increase for farmworkers in over 30 years. The FFP was called “one of the great human rights success stories of our day” in The Washington Post, “the best workplace monitoring program in the US” on the front page of The New York Times.

*Lunch is available from 11am-1:30pm via the Barrio Taco Food Truck

11:30am-12pm: Fair Trade, Union Made, What Else…? 

facilitated by Mariatu Baker, IRTF intern (SUNY Buffalo ’17), & Mike Fiala, retired psychologist & union member (CH-UH High School)

The movements for Fair Trade and Union-Made products have provided a foundation to re-think & revise our global and personal consumption patterns. How much do we know and care what we consume (e.g., chocolate)?  And how can we purchase, consume and live in a thoroughly just way and environment? This will be an opportunity to explore specific products and have a discussion.


12:15pm: Fair Trade Integrity and Awareness through Community and Collaboration. 

Chris Solt, Exec. Director, Fair Trade Federation (Wilmington, DE)

1:15pm: Q&A

As Executive Director of the Fair Trade Federation, Chris manages the strategic, administrative, and programmatic aspects of the Fair Trade Federation. He also researches, develops, and implements FTF’s comprehensive educational and advocacy programs. He facilitates peer mentoring programs and drives & coordinates content for member events.

Chris has dedicated much of his professional career toward strengthening fair trade businesses. Prior to joining the FTF staff in 2016, Chris spent over 5 years as a Regional Sales Manager for Ten Thousand Villages US, working with fair trade stores of all sizes to be more successful. Chris then led the training team with Ten Thousand Villages for 7 years, which included coordinating and driving educational events, conferences, and fair trade promotion. After joining the FTF in early 2016, Chris has helped shape member education programs, led the coordination and planning for FTF Conferences, and represented FTF at gift shows and events across the US and Canada. He has developed relationships with many fair trade professionals from all over the world, including a trip to India and Nepal in 2008, where he saw the impact of fair trade first hand.

Chris earned a BA in Social Science from Cleveland State University, and a MS in Organizational Leadership from Southern New Hampshire University.




2pm: In Defense of Land and Life

Alex Escobar Prado, Youth Organized in Defense of Life (JODVID) — Jalapa, Guatemala

3pm: Q&A
Alex Escobar Prado is an activist, educator, and member of the Guatemalan environmental justice organization Youth Organized in Defense of Life (JODVID). Born out of the struggle for community self-determination and resistance to Tahoe Resources’ Escobal silver mine in southeastern Guatemala, JODVID uses the arts and popular education to mobilize youth in local and regional movements to protect the environment and defend territory. The group was founded in 2015 following the murder of 16-year-old Topacio Reynoso, a local artist and vocal opponent to mining activities in the area. Members honor her memory by using her art and music to strengthen the resistance to Tahoe Resources and other environmental threats in the region.

Alex is a primary school teacher for children in a rural village near Mataquescuintla, Jalapa. He is also a member of JODVID’s community education team, which conducts trainings to build youth leadership to protect the environment, raise awareness about the dangers of deforestation and mining in the area, and educate their community on the importance of protecting waterways in Santa Rosa and Jalapa, where small scale agriculture is the main source of income and a way of life.

When asked how his participation in JODVID has impacted his life, Alex said, “Nature, our environment, everything around us has been changing over the last few years in a very drastic way, which, whether directly or indirectly, is affecting us. It is by our own hands that our planet is being destroyed. Being part of this group has created an awareness in me, because I’ve realized that young people—we are part of this society, that we are the future, and we can make change in our society.”



8 thoughts on “Teach-In & Expo 2017

  1. We would love to help get more Ohio colleges involved with Fair Trade across the state.
    Our organization has about 40 member campuses, including John Carroll.
    I would love to learn more about how we can get involved and support your efforts.
    Thank you.

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