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Fair Trade Symposium at Duquesne University to Explore The Face Behind the Label

In this era of global economic interdependence, decisions made in the United States about what to eat, drink, wear and buy affect the lives of people in other countries-textile workers in Asia, farmers in Africa, artisans in Latin America.

The Fair Trade and Fair Food movements seek to raise awareness of these tenuous relationships and other aspects of conventional trade that often exploit women, children, the poor and vulnerable.

A daylong symposium, The Face Behind the Label: Exploring the Dignity of Work Through Fair Trade and Fair Food Practices will be held on Tuesday, March 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Power Center Ballroom. Duquesne University's Spiritan Campus Ministry, in collaboration with Catholic Relief Services, the Office of Mission and Identity and the Charles Owen Rice Lecture Series, will introduce these issues.

The symposium (www.duq.edu/campus-ministry/fair-trade-symposium.cfm) features speakers on topics including fair trade and Catholic social teaching, the fair trade supply chain, labor rights and advocacy, as well as a movie screening, a Fair Food reception and networking session.

The work of local and national fair trade businesses and advocacy groups such as the Worker Rights Consortium, Coalition of Immokalee Workers/Student Farmworker Alliance (CIW/SFA) and Women of the Cloud Forest will be highlighted, said Matt Walsh, assistant director of Spiritan Campus Ministry.

"The symposium serves as an overview of fair trade and fair food practices and, as the title suggests, puts a human face on the people who produce our food, clothing and other goods," Walsh said. "Raising awareness and inspiring action around these issues is an expression of the joint Spiritan and University mission of promoting sustainable relationships and human dignity."

Walsh said the hope is that those attending will learn simple ways to help change unjust commerce systems, like buying local and Fair Trade Certified products, and in turn, positively impact the lives of people in developing countries.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.