By Cathryn Lien, Staff Writer

Threedom, a social justice group led by Asbury students, will host a presentation on fair trade this month to prepare for the Fair Trade Market in November. The group’s purpose is to engage students in the movement to emancipate people held in bondage, specifically those enslaved through human trafficking. The name “Threedom” comes from the three steps to freedom: engage, empower and emancipate.

President of Threedom Anna Corbitt said, “With our Fair Trade Market coming up in November, we thought it would more impactful for students to have a deeper understanding of the connections between Fair Trade organizations and the issue of human trafficking. This way, when they purchase items at the market they will understand the true meaning and cost behind every purchase.”

“Fair trade does incredible work in improving lives by giving people adequate pay, safe and clean working conditions, and makes products that do not harm the environment. Each of these principles help develop healthy, thriving communities.”  

The concept behind fair trade allows artisans and farmers to be paid fairly for their labor. The market will host over six fair trade vendors from the Central Kentucky area, including the October event’s presenter, Amy Weinfurtner. As the owner of PeaceCraft, a fair trade shop located in Berea, KY, she will be speaking on the important connections between fair trade, chocolate and the fight against human trafficking.

The October presentation is an essential asset to the Fair Trade Market in November, as it will show how fair trade directly affects survivors of human trafficking and bondage. Secretary of Threedom Elizabeth Louden said, “Fair trade does incredible work in improving lives by giving people adequate pay, safe and clean working conditions, and makes products that do not harm the environment. Each of these principles help develop healthy, thriving communities.”

The student leaders of Threedom, under the facilitation of faculty advisor Erin Penner, have worked diligently to organize these events in hopes that they will make Asburians campaigners of social justice.

“It is my hope that this event will bring about greater awareness of this connection, giving students a tangible way to assist those coming out of trafficking by buying fair trade items,” Vice President of Threedom Kelsie Harwell said.  “It is also my hope that they will gain a greater awareness of how common items, such as chocolate, and companies that are not fair trade are often negatively involved in various forms of trafficking. It is a very sad truth that many people do not know about, so it is important that we focus on making others aware of it so that they can use that knowledge to begin fixing the problem.”

The presentation is taking place on Oct. 17 in the Student Center at 7 p.m. The Fair Trade Market will be held on Friday, Nov. 4 from 1-4 p.m. in the Student Center.