An Interview: Fair Trade Colleges & Universities Movement

Fair Trade Colleges & Universities Campaign

Fair Trade Colleges & Universities Campaign

BY CHRIS KERRJune 13, 2013

In September 2008 the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh sparked a new initiative in the U.S. by announcing its commitment to be a Fair Trade University, part of UWOSH’s effort “to do its part toward ending trade injustices that result in millions of people living in poverty.”  This sentiment has been echoing across campuses nationally, and, inspired by the example set by UWOSH, colleges, universities, and high schools across the country are stepping up to promote social justice and economic empowerment for farmers, workers, artisans and their families in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.  In 2012, Creighton University became the first Jesuit university to earn Fair Trade College & University status.  Other Jesuit schools currently working toward the elite status include Canisius College, Fordham University, John Carroll University, Loyola Marymount University, Loyola University Chicago, Marquette University, and St. Joseph University.

The interview above features Parker Townley, national coordinator for the Fair Trade Colleges and Universities movement.  Parker is a graduate of Gonzaga University and also spent a semester at Santa Clara University’s Casa de Solidaridad program in El Salvador.

“Recent Stories about Fair Trade efforts at Jesuit Universities:”

Going from free trade to fair trade (Canisius College – The Griffin – March 7, 2013)
Students at Fordham University bring fair trade to the Bronx (Fordham University – September 7, 2012)
Fair Trade Awareness Week at John Carroll University (ISN Blog – April 30, 2013)
Students initiate campus-wide Fair Trade (Loyola Marymount – The Loyolan – February 4, 2013)[/box]

2 replies
  1. Frank Silvestri
    Frank Silvestri says:

    The Slow Food movement recognizes the value of people over corporations and the importance of preserving local production, culture and biodiversity to the environment and social justice. Fair wages for workers is a small but critical part of this.

    This is a link to a short film and more information.


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