- paying workers a fair wage,
- ending human trafficking and child labor,
- promoting education for children,
- protecting the environment, and
- respecting artists and artisans by honoring their cultural diversity.
“Peace on Fifth, London Coe (pictured right) specifically, was amazing help in completing our project,” Zahn said.“We joined the Dayton Fair Trade steering committee which London is the head of, and we just kind of became the CJ branch. Through those meetings we were able to keep up with the Fair Trade things happening in the Dayton community.”
In July 2013, Dayton was declared a “Fair Trade city” through a resolution passed by the City Commission. The city earned its official designation as a Fair Trade Town from Fair Trade Campaigns that August, said Lang, becoming one of the fastest certified cities in the nation.
Inspired by this progress, the four CJ seniors began working with Coe and Molly Bardine, CJ capstone coordinator, toward earning the school’s Fair Trade certification in the fall of 2013. The process challenged students to earn three “badges” — one for creating a team, one for organizing Fair Trade education events, and one for sourcing Fair Trade products at school.
To accomplish these requirements, the seniors screened the documentary “The Dark Side of Chocolate,” for their classmates and even took advantage of Prom by distributing Fair Trade chocolate in with Prom favors. Finally, students worked with the school’s cafeteria vendor, W.G. Grinders, to make Honest Tea — a Fair Trade beverage — available at lunch.
“Through continued engagement, we’d like to use CJ as a model for other private high schools that want to become Fair Trade Schools,” Lang said.
CJ is one of two Fair Trade school in all of Ohio. It took the Capstone group just eight months to complete the project, one that would normally take years.
“Our goal with this project was to simply educate people to make them more conscience consumers, but continuing the project is key to earning the badge. What’s awesome is there has already been talk about some juniors wanting to take over and do bigger and better things,” Howard said.
“As a group we’re just happy to say we were able to bring the subject of Fair Trade to light at CJ. From here forward it will support itself, all we had to do was open the door,” he said.
ABOUT THE SENIOR CAPSTONE
The Senior Capstone is a student-initiated inquiry into a social justice issue. The project challenges students to make an impact on the issue and work for justice in our world today. All projects connect to Catholic Social Teaching. Seniors work in groups of two, three or four for an entire year to complete four phases of the Capstone. The third phase requires students to present their research and findings publicly. The program is supported by the school’s $20 million campaign, LIFT — Leading in Faith Today. To learn more, visit www.cjeagles.org/senior-capstone.