Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fair Trade Blogger Bragging

As a college sophomore, I first realized I was interested in international advocacy. A great goal but initially hard to accomplish in a small, friendly town smack dab in the middle of the North American continent.

Except I was lucky, because I went to school in Waukesha, home of the Plowshare Center--an organization that hosts educational forums on social, economic, and environmental justice issues globally, and also runs Wisconsin's first Fair Trade store. They welcomed me on board and for my last year in Wisconsin I helped set up events, staff the booth of Fair Trade products that popped up at Fair Trade Fairs (say that ten times fast) and the Waukesha Farmer's market on weekends, and spent three memorable days repainting the inside of the store the most gorgeous shade of blue.


I was also entrusted to help stock the books for sale in the Learning Center, at last achieving my dream of running a tiny bookstore (after a fashion).

The Plowshare  ladies, as I called them to my friends and family (despite the men who are very much a part of  the center, too) were wildly supportive of my writing (they probably knocked Aqua Vitae up several thousand Amazon ranks the day they discovered I wrote a book ;D) and asked me to write some articles for the biannual newsletter. Those articles now have their own page on Plowshare's newly redesigned website!


This summer, I'm now working with another Fair Trade and peacebuilding organization--Amani, which has five centers run by women throughout Eastern Africa and a retail storefront in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood of Washington, D.C. There I've been helping at pop-up shops, scheduling more offsites at DC festivals (we're especially excited about the Green Festival in September), and writing some of the posts on the Amani DC blog.

So even if you're not always hearing from me on this blog, I reassure you I am still blogging! And now you know where else to find me (and if you're looking for a place to pick up gifts, jewelry, or some adorable kid's toys, you now know 2 places to look--Amani even has an online store for anyone not currently near its stores in Washington, Kenya, Rwanda, Liberia, Uganda, or Burundi).