Trading Places: Putting the Poor First in Global Relations
Middle Years 2007/2008 School Year
Undoubtedly you have heard the term “Fair Trade.” But what, precisely, does the term mean? Basically fair trade means that producers are paid a fair price for the products they produce. But there’s much more involved than just a good price. Fair trade goods are produced in humane working conditions, and factories are monitored for their compliance to minimum standards. By putting control in the hands of producers, fair trade attempts to address structural inequities in the global economy and promote grassroots development.
Circuit Descriptions (1/2 hour each)
Promotion and Permission: Planning Your Activity
During this circuit, students discussed how to change great ideas into concrete action. In their school groups, students were through a brainstorming session on the practicalities of how to get an awareness-raising activity off the ground. This could include issues like, whom do you need to ask for permission? Who do you contact to get help? How do you get the things you need for your activity? And how do you get the word out there that you’re doing something important?
In this circuit, participants learned how to get their message out to their peers and the larger community through the different media available to them. This could be as fancy as getting the newspaper, local TV or radio stations to report on what they were up to, or could be as simple as taking the time to talk to your peers and family about the Africa and reaching the Millennium Development Goals. Students also had a chance to get in front of a video camera, to test their interviewing skills and their ability to get their message out to the targeted audience.
Getting the Words Out: Public Speaking
Have you ever had to speak in front of a group of 200 people? How about just 50? Or even just in front of your own class? Anyone who’s had to do this before will tell you that it can be a wobbly-legged, brain-turns-to-mush kind of experience. But it doesn’t have to be that way – people can learn skills to be confident, relaxed, (and even exciting!) public speakers. This circuit taught students the skills to become strong public speakers who can get their message across effectively.
Bringing it Home: Simulations for Social Justice
Do you sometimes find it hard to take in all the statistics on global poverty? Like the fact that 30,000 children die every day from poverty and preventable diseases? Or the fact that more than half the world’s population lives on less than $2 a day? Sometimes these huge numbers are hard to understand, and it’s difficult to grasp what those numbers really mean. This is where simulation activities can help. This circuit highlighted several interactive activities that help bring statistics on global poverty and the Millennium Development Goals into perspective. Students could in turn use these activities (or can create their own!) to bring the MDGs message home for their fellow students.
Workshop Descriptions (1 hour each)
Creating a Print ‘Zine
During this workshop, students learned about creating magazines or ‘zines in order to get a message across. Students also had an opportunity to plan what they might include if they were making their own ‘zine on Africa 2015: Reaching the Millennium Development Goals.
Theatre and Improv
This workshop exposed students to the mediums of theatre and improvisation as ways of expressing personal ideas. Students were led through theatre exercises and also had a chance to try their hands at improvisation!
In this session, students got a chance to learn about the silk-screening process, and see a design at different levels of completion. Students even had the chance to help bring a design to life by helping with the final stages of t-shirt production!
Video Public Service Announcement (PSA)
Most people like watching movies, but did you ever think you could have fun behind the camera, too? This session took participants through the process of creating a short film: from storyboarding to camera operation, filming to in-camera editing, participants learned the skills to get their message out to people through film.
During this workshop, students were taken through the process of coming up with an idea and learning how to showcase it so that people will take notice – all by using PowerPoint Presentations.
Creating a Social Justice Club
The Creating a Social Justice Club workshop taught participants how to get themselves organized to learn about social issues, and start making a difference in their local and global communities.