International Justice Mission promotes fair wages at trade market

By Allie Matherne

Baylor’s chapter of the International Justice Mission is reinvigorating the purpose of free trade and socially responsible shopping through an accessible venue for students.

IJM is hosting its annual Justice Week, which will include a fair trade market and free concert Thursday at Common Grounds.

The market will consist of 11 organizations showcasing their fair trade products. The products range from jewelry to painted canvases.

The concert will feature artists from Waco, including Brenna Haffey, T. Ryan and Brin Beaver. The concert will be from 5 – 7 p.m.

Fair trade helps fight injustice by increasing the standard of wages for laborers, said Orange County, Calif. sophomore Loren Aguirre.

Aguire, IJM’s Justice Week chair, said she is passionate about empowering people through the abolition of slave trade.

“Obviously fair wages are different in every country … but it’s important that they can live properly,” she said.

Fair trade goods differ from standard goods, said Fort Worth junior Drake Osborn.

“It’s a product that the workers have been justly compensated for all throughout the line,” said Osborn, chaplain of Baylor’s IJM.

The market will feature well-known Waco groups such as Unbound, Bearforphans and World Cup Café.  The café will sell headbands and jewelry from all around the world, said Shannon Williams, fair trade manager at World Cup Café.

It is important to call attention to fair trade because of how it benefits laborers in other countires, Williams said.

“Fair trade means living wages for people around the world, good labor practices and working conditions,” Williams said.

Aguirre said it is vital that consumers celebrate those who are making strides toward fair wages. That is what Thursday is about, she said.

“People are forced into slave labor, and while me not shopping [at these places] isn’t going to make them stop using slave labor, we should support those who have been successful in fair trade,” Aguirre said.

Osborn said he agrees.

“The biggest push for a fair trade market is to get the community involved,” Osborn said.

Osborn said Justice Week is always pivotal for the organization’s mission.

“This week is our biggest event of the year and an opportunity to bring awareness,” Osborn said.

The purpose of Justice Week is to bring awareness to the causes around Waco that are working toward ending the injustice around the world, Aguirre said.

“This is a way for us to educate other students about something we’re so passionate about,” Aguirre said. “It’s about fighting for people who don’t have a voice.”