Ekplesso Hosts Fair Trade Event

Ekplesso Hosts Fair Trade Event

Cedarville University’s organization Ekplesso is hosting The Hands That Feed on March 31 at 6:30 p.m. The Hands That Feed is an event that strives to educate the community about fair trade practices. Photo credit: Courtesy of Amanda Sutton

by Public Relations Office—Cedarville, Ohio

March 24, 2009

Cedarville, Ohio—Imagine working more than 60 hours a week and being paid only pennies for your labor. That’s exactly what happens in nations around the world. These laborers work because of the demand on imports like clothing and food that is so strong in the United States. Now an organization at Cedarville University is trying to do something to change that.

Ekplesso, a group created by senior social work majors in the Social Work with Communities and Organizations class, is sponsoring The Hands That Feed, an event that strives to educate the public about fair trade policies.

“Ekplesso exists to ignite global social change by revealing current humanitarian issues,” says Amanda Sutton, a senior social work major. “We want to evoke action in Cedarville and its surrounding communities.”

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with free desserts and fair trade coffee. Jacqueline DeCarlo will serve as keynote speaker for the evening. DeCarlo is a senior program advisor on the Economic Justice Team of Catholic Relief Services and has been passionate about fair trade for years. In addition to DeCarlo, Ekplesso is hosting several panel members as well as fair trade vendors, including Cards From Africa, Un Mundo Cafe (Springfield), and Stoney Creek Roasters.

Fair trade is a positive alternative to the unfair trade practices that often dominate the market. The fair trade movement seeks to help alleviate poverty, human exploitation and the destruction of the environment through establishing fair trading practices. Julie Furj, an assistant professor of social work, says, “We want folks to walk away from this event more educated about fair trade practice. We feel this is an issue close to the Lord’s heart, according to Jeremiah 22:13. We want them to think about how often we sit down for a meal, without acknowledging the true hands that prepared it; we buy an article of clothing, a computer, furniture, etc. and enjoy it while others labor and may even die because of unjust and unfair wages.”

Sutton goes on to explain, “The trade practices typically dominating today’s market exploit the very men women and children who work to create the goods we consume. Fair trade offers a just and equitable alternative, so you can know that the person who made the shirt you are wearing or the coffee you are drinking is not a forced laborer or a child working for 25 cents an hour.”

Amanda Gillispie, associate director of event services, says, “I believe that those in the community will be encouraged and enjoy seeing how Cedarville University students desire to affect the world around them by supporting an issue such as fair trade.”

More Information

Learn More: 1-800-CEDARVILLE or Event Services.
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Date: March 31
Location: Stevens Student Center, Event Rooms
Address: Cedarville University, 251 N. Main St., Cedarville, Ohio
Cost: Free and open to the public