Fall is for Fair Trade

Here in the Midwest of the United States, we are witnessing the dramatic transition of seasons, with leaves turning colors and cooler temperatures. October means the arrival of Fall, but it is also Fair Trade Month. It is an appropriate time for us to espouse the benefits of fair trade shopping, but there are compelling reasons to permanently change your shopping habits by choosing fair trade items when they are available. Simply put, buying fair trade helps to ensure that workers are receiving fair wages, are employed in safe and humane working conditions, and are not being exploited. Companies have been taking steps to improve their supply chains (possibly due to transparency regulations, consumer demand, and/or good corporate citizenship), but many popular products continue to be plagued by slave or child labor in their supply chains. As consumer become more socially conscious, there are numerous resources available about fair trade products. In this article, we want to share a few of our favorite resources and fair trade companies.

A good starting point for a consumer looking to include more fair trade goods in their life is SlaveryFootprint.org. After spending a few minutes taking a survey, you will find out how many slaves work for you (based on your current lifestyle.) Although it’s not terribly comprehensive (that would require an exhaustive inventory of your purchases), it does provide a sobering look at the problem of modern day slavery and how your everyday purchases are connected.

Consumer goods, such as coffee and chocolate, both of which were notorious for slave labor at the bottom of the supply chain, are becoming more likely to have fair trade options. This article by UNICEF provides an additional explanation of fair trade, and includes the fair trade associations that certify products. So when you are in the grocery store, look for one of the association logos on the product packaging and you’ll know that your purchase is helping to combat human trafficking.

Deciding to change your shopping habits to be a better global citizen and social justice advocate is the first step. Admittedly, when you start finding out that some of your favorite products don’t have the best supply chains, it becomes more difficult to make those adjustments. It’s a process and a journey. Start small and try out some fair trade products, without trying to completely overhaul everything you purchase. We will leave you with a few of our favorite fair trade companies.

Freeset – this social enterprise based in India employs sex trafficking survivors in Kolkata. Products include tees, bags, and scarves. We buy our race shirts from Freeset.

Serrv – here you can shop for apparel, home goods and decor, and food items from artisans and farmers in 25 countries.

Ten Thousand Villages – much like Serrv, they carry a wide range of different fair trade goods.

MadeFair – an online retailer of ethical, sustainable and Certified Fair Trade apparel. Our new ambassador, Annabelle, will soon feature some of their items.

Citizen and Darling – an ethical clothing brand that fights human trafficking. We love their Freedom Fighter tees!

And finally, located right in our hometown of Troy, Ohio, Pachamama Market carries a variety of fair trade items, such as home decor, jewelry, clothing, and coffee and chocolate. If you’re in the Troy or Dayton vicinity, make sure you visit them!

Hopefully this post is informative, and will help you get on the path to becoming a socially conscious consumer, not just in October, but year round.

 

Our New Ambassador!

We are excited to announce a new ambassador has come on board to support Free To Run’s mission of raising awareness of human trafficking and other injustices, and to inspire hope and advocate for change. Annabelle Dura is a dancer, writer, model and opportunity producer, who currently splits her time between Texas and New York City. Read more of this post

Freedom Day Virtual Run

Our annual January Virtual Race is coming to a close at the end of February 1st. We extended the race one day into February in order to recognize Freedom Day, which honors President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the resolution on February 1, 1865 that would ultimately become the 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Between now and the end of the day on February 1st, you can walk, run, hop, skip or crawl any distance in our virtual race to raise awareness of human trafficking. Share what you’re doing on social media, talk about Freedom Day, and the fact that there are an estimated 36 million people in slavery in the world today, more than any time in history. Use hash tag #FreedomDayVirtualRun and tag Free To Run Foundation on your posts:

Twitter – @freetorunfdn

Instagram – free2runfdn

Facebook – FreeToRunFdn

You can choose to turn awareness into action by officially registering for our Virtual Race for a $10 donation. For $25, you will get an official Free To Run Virtual Race shirt mailed to you.  Register here: https://runsignup.com/virtualrace2endslavery.

Take the first step in becoming a modern day abolitionist by participating in our Virtual Race To End Slavery.

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
― William Wilberforce

2016 Freedom Film Series

Today we are pleased to announce a new awareness initiative launching this month, our 2016 Freedom Film Series. Throughout the year, we will offer free, open to the public screenings of a variety of movies and documentaries, on global social justice topics ranging from human trafficking to gender equality. The screenings will be held at Mayflower Arts Center in downtown Troy. Tickets will be available at the Mayflower, or online:

Sunday, January 31, 4:00 pm – Not My Life

Sunday, February 21, 3:00 pm – Half the Sky:Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Saturday, August 20, 8:00 pm – Sold the movie + Candlelight Vigil

The film series is made possible in part through a grant from the Miami County Foundation.

A Month of Awareness, Advocacy & Action

For many years now, January has been designated by Presidential Proclamation as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. You can read President Obama’s Proclamation for January 2016 here. It is often debated if awareness campaigns actually make a difference, or have a long-lasting impact on the issue or cause (remember the Bring Back Our Girls campaign for the school girls kidnapped by Boko Harem in Nigeria?). I don’t think there is a definitive answer as to whether awareness does any good. There are probably many examples where awareness increased about an issue, but that didn’t result in change. Conversely, for change to occur in the first place, future advocates first have to become aware of an issue.

 

 

In regards to Modern Day Slavery, I believe that once people discover that there are an estimated 36 million slaves in the world today, and that slavery takes place in all countries even though it is illegal everywhere, and that slavery is a $150 billion per year industry, making it the fastest growing criminal industry, that the majority of people will want to do something about it. What can you do this month to help raise awareness, advocate or take action in the fight against human trafficking? First, I recommend reading my previous post with the top 10 ways to become a new abolitionist. You can also sign up for our Virtual Race 2 End Slavery, and share the event and the reason you signed up with your family, friends and networks. Finally, and this is mentioned in the top 10 post, read up on the End Modern Slavery Initiative and consider getting involved in your state on behalf of this important legislation.

 

In order to make a difference in the fight against human trafficking, we need to educate (awareness), speak up on behalf of those living in slavery (advocacy), and get involved with activities that create real change (action).

World Race for Hope Columbus 5k+ – April 9, 2016

Results: https://runsignup.com/race/results/?raceId=15936#resultSetId-32472

Pictures: https://www.facebook.com/FreeToRunFdn/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1059382600772138

Finish Line Video: https://youtu.be/-BTvujpl79Y

Our 2017 race will be announced on Columbus Marathon weekend.

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Join us at Scioto Audubon Park near downtown Columbus for our 5th annual World Race for Hope Columbus. Our 5th annual race will be a 5k+, actually 4.1 miles instead of 3.1. There is also a free, untimed 1 mile walk option.

When: Saturday, April 9, 2016, 10:00 am

Where: Scioto Audubon Park, Columbus, Ohio

How:

Online Registration: https://runsignup.com/worldraceforhopecbus

Cost: $25 for adults, $20 for 18 and under (prices increase by $5 after 3/6)

Register by 3/6 to be guaranteed a race shirt.

You can also create an online fundraising page to help raise funds to support our charity partners and the fight against human trafficking in Central Ohio.

Why: To make a difference in the fight against human trafficking.

The race supports Free To Run’s awareness and advocacy initiatives, as well as the following Columbus-area charity and social enterprise partners:

  • Freedom a la Cart
  • Gracehaven
  • UNCHAINED
  • OneVOICE4freedom
  • Out of Darkness Columbus
  • We Are Cherished Ohio
  • Legacy Candle
  • She Has A Name Cleaning

In 2016, go the extra mile to fight trafficking!

Packet Pick Up & Race Day Schedule

Friday, April 8, 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Optional Early Packet Pick Up at Columbus Running, 765 N. High St.

Saturday, April 9 – Scioto Audubon

8:30 am – Check-in & Same Day Registration Starts

9:55 am – Pre-race Announcements

10:00 am – Race start

Sponsors

Ohio Christian University

Please contact us for sponsorship opportunities.

Shout Out to Our Sponsors

In the days leading up to our New Year’s Day 5k in Troy, we highlighted several of our sponsors (LexisNexis, Concrete Sealants and Up and Running). We would be remiss if we didn’t take a moment to highlight the remainder of our sponsors.

Troy First United Methodist Church

In 8 out of the 9 years that the World Race for Hope has been in existence, we have been able to use the First Place Christian Center as the home base. The multi-purpose Great Room is a perfect location for post-race awards, and the two video screens allow for viewing of the live video stream of the start/finish.

Sroufe’s Painting Service

Sroufe’s Painting offers over 10 years of experience to meet all of your commercial and residential painting needs.

Holly Lynn Photography

Holly has been shooting weddings and portrait sessions in the Dayton area since 2012. She was our race photographer for our 2015 race, and has photographed other events for charitable causes.

Take 2 Productions

Take 2 provides video services for local sports teams, and also does weddings, photo restoration and DVD transfers. They provided the live stream of our start and finish line at our 2016 race.

Ghostlight Coffee

Ghostlight is located in the historic South Park district on Wayne Ave. in Dayton. In addition to being a neighborhood coffee house, they are a venue for music, poetry and spoken word, and they also provide space for local artists to display their works.

If you know of a business interested in sponsoring our 2017 race in Troy, or the upcoming race in Columbus, you can email us at wr4h(at)troyfumc.org.