Global Exchange is constantly building partnerships with other organizations that are “fighting the good fight.” This past weekend, Global Exchange interns, staff members, and friends participated in another campaign to help promote Fair Trade… and have some fun. This post was written by Summer Intern Bryan Weiner. 

Ben and Jerry's booth

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday a stalwart group of Global Exchange volunteers braved the fog and headed out to Golden Gate Park to partner with Ben and Jerry’s during the Outside Lands Music Festival.

I headed out with the group on Sunday, not knowing what to expect, but having heard good reports from the previous two days I was excited to work with a group of people who were passionate about Fair Trade, good music, and ice cream.

The campaign was called “Thumbs-Up for Fair Trade” and the socially conscious Vermont ice cream company was urging people to “not just stand there but do thumb-thing” about promoting Fair Trade. People lined up at the booth, stamped their thumbs on ink-pads in 12 different colors, and put their thumbprint on a giant poster board at the back of the tent. This board will be displayed at an art walk in Burlington, Vermont. After making their thumb-print, they got to go and get a generous sample of Ben and Jerry’s Greek Frozen Yogurt, receive a lot of free “schwag” and get some information about the importance of buying Fair Trade products.

Thumbs-Up for Free Trade!

Thumbs-Up for Fair Trade!

We arrived a little after 2 in the afternoon under bleak, gray skies with cold temperatures in the low 50s. I was skeptical as to whether people would actually want ice cream in this weather, but when I arrived at the tent, my skepticism quickly vanished. People were lined up hundreds-deep to give their thumb-print, cheer Fair Trade, and get some yummy fro-yo.

Our task was basically going to be to cheer people on and get them pumped about supporting Fair Trade, something that comes naturally to any of us involved with Global Exchange. We interacted with customers, handed out stickers, explained the difference between Fair Trade and free trade, and I even got silly and allowed excited concert-goers to put thumb-prints all over my face. Over 15,000 scoops of frozen yogurt were served over the course of the entire weekend!

Global Exchange Booth

After the frozen yogurt ran out on Sunday afternoon, we quickly helped Ben and Jerry’s break down and then set up our Global Exchange table. We got large crowds of people coming over to our table (admittedly some because the Ben and Jerry’s banner was still up) to hear about our organization and spin our prize wheel with questions.

Despite the setting, we were able to have many meaningful interactions with people who were genuinely interested in our work, but who had very little previous knowledge about our issues. Our team of four educated people on the dangers of the TPP (The Trans-Pacific Partnership), the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking, and why it is important to support Fair Trade.

At 8:00 when we packed up, everyone was very satisfied with our afternoon’s work. We made some great ties with the progressive team from Ben and Jerry’s, opened a lot of eyes, and even got to sample some of the fantastic frozen yogurt. And, we still had a chance to see the headlining acts of Outside Lands after our volunteer work. It was my first time seeing the classic band the Red Hot Chili Peppers and a great conclusion to a wonderful day and weekend.

Ben Cohen, Tex Dworkin, Kevin Danaher, Jerry Greenfield Photo Credit: Natalie Mottley

The Ninth Annual Human Rights Awards was a great success!  The sold out event included inspirational speeches by three incredible honorees, witty banter by event emcees Ben & Jerry (in tuxedos!), and the participation of the entire Global Exchange staff, board, and community.

Since 2001, the Human Rights Awards Gala has brought together activists, supporters, and friends to recognize the efforts of exceptional individuals and organizations working for human rights from around the country and around the world.

Guests in attendance this year included folks from Ben & Jerry’s, CODE PINK, Dr. Bronner’s, Drug Policy Alliance, Fair Trade USA, Harrington Investments, Sungevity, The Pachamama Alliance, Thanksgiving Coffee, and a whole lot more!

Fair Trade models Jocelyn Boreta, Rae Abileah, Zarah Patriana

Fair Trade models donned Fair Trade outfits & accessories with “Ask Me About My Outfit” sashes or swatches. They strutted their stuff on the big stage to showcase some of the Fair Trade goodies being auctioned off during the silent auction, while guests enjoyed Fair Trade Certified Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream.

Thank you to everyone who joined us June 1, 2011, as we honored the work of:

  • Gulf Coast Activist Wilma Subra (Domestic Honoree).  Wilma  is an accomplished environmental scientist who has been on the frontlines fighting for the rights of local communities in Louisiana following the Gulf Spill. Watch her speech at the HRA here.
  • U.N. Ambassador for Bolivia Pablo Solón (International Honoree), a strong proponent of climate justice and the Rights of Nature.View his speech at the HRA here.
  • Javier Sicilia (People’s Choice Honoree) , a poet building a movement to free Mexico from the spiraling violence of the ‘war on drugs.’ Watch his speech here.

Photographer Natalie Mottley

All in all, the 9th annual Human Rights Award Gala was a great time. If you weren’t able to make it, we hope to see you there next year!

The event was photographed and filmed by pros, and we’ll be sharing some of those clips n pics down the road a bit.

In the meantime, I brought my camera along to snap a few pics on my own during the event. Below are a few of them, plus one from photographer Natalie Mottley. Hope you enjoy!

2011 Human Rights Awards Gala Photos

Liza Gonzales and Medea Benjamin

Jason Mark, Antonia Juhasz, and Wilma Subra

Beth Rogers-Witte Garriott and Ashley Cline

Wanda Whitaker checking out the silent auction

Walter Turner and Pierre Labossiere

Kylie Nicole-Nealis and Cheryl Meeker

Mary & Mike Murphy and Kevin Danaher

Kevin Danaher and Jeff Furman

Javier Sicilia and Ted Lewis Photo Credit: Natalie Mottley

Pablo Solón and Carleen Pickard

It’s springtime in the Bay Area, and we’re ramping up for our ninth annual Human Rights Awards Gala happening on June 1st at the historic Bimbo’s 365 Club in San Francisco.

Ben & Jerry’s Co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield graced us with their presence at the gala last year, but this is the first year they will actually emcee the event, so those who attend are in for an extra sweet treat!

Since 2001, the Human Rights Awards Gala has brought together activists, supporters, and friends to recognize the efforts of exceptional individuals and organizations working for human rights from around the country and around the world.

This year on June 1, 2011, we honor the work of Gulf Coast Activist Wilma Subra (Domestic Honoree), International Honoree U.N. Ambassador for Bolivia Pablo Solón, and People’s Choice Honoree Javier Sicilia, a poet building a movement to free Mexico from the spiraling violence of the ‘war on drugs.’

Ben Cohen and Yours Truly at our 2010 Human Rights Awards Gala

As you can probably tell from this picture on the left here, our awards gala was a great time last year, so if you’re in the Bay Area on June 1st, I hope you join us as we hear inspiring stories, dine, dance and celebrate along with Ben and Jerry, our Honorees, and your fellow social justice advocates.


To purchase tickets: Order online here (early bird rate ends on May 13th)

General event info: Visit the event website at

Global Exchange is pleased to announce the winner of our 2011 Human Rights Awards People’s Choice Contest, Javier Sicilia, as chosen by THE PEOPLE, supporters of Global Exchange and human rights around the world.

Mr. Sicilia is a poet building a movement to free Mexico from the spiraling violence of the ‘war on drugs.’ He will be honored at our annual Human Rights Awards Gala happening on June 1 at historic Bimbo’s 365 Club in San Francisco.

Find out more about this exciting event.

Mr. Sicilia joins our other 2011 Human Rights Awards recipients, Pablo Solón, Bolivian Ambassador to the UN, and Wilma Subra, Gulf Coast activist. You can learn more about all of our human rights honorees past and present here.

Javier Sicilia is a Mexican father, poet, and citizen who lost his son in a drug war massacre on March 28, 2011. Juan Francisco Sicilia Ortega was murdered along with six friends in an act of violence that Morelos state authorities immediately dismissed as “a settling of accounts.” Juan Francisco and his friends’ murders took place in the context of more than 38,000 mostly nameless victims of this cruel and unnecessary war.

Rather than retreat to the shadows of shock or fear, Sicilia has turned the pain of his searing loss into a tool for peace by convening marches and building a movement to free Mexico from the dogmas, dark alliances, impunity, and political expediency that fuel this tragic war.

I could go on and on about what an awesome, courageous, inspiring man Javier Sicilia is, but instead just watch this video:

More than 1200 people elected Javier Sicilia to be the Global Exchange “People’s Choice” human rights award winner. As the People’s Choice honoree, he will receive $1,000 in honor of his work and will be recognized during the Human Rights Awards gala celebration.


Join Mexico’s growing peace movement that has called for a massive civic mobilization this Sunday, May 8th. The main event will take place in Mexico’s Zocalo and will be echoed by marches and vigils in many countries. More info here.


If you’ll be in the Bay Area on June 1st, I hope to see you at our Human Rights Awards gala for a night of inspiration, celebration and fun! For event info click here and to buy tickets for the event click here (by May 13th if you want to score the Early Bird discount!)

P.S. Two of my personal heroes Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield (founders of Ben & Jerry’s) are emceeing the event. How awesome is that?!

Here’s your roundup of Fair Trade news and updates. This week, Ben & Jerry’s gives out free ice cream cones, CNN addresses child labor in the cocoa industry, and that’s just for starters:

Graphic Credit:

Today is the day. Tuesday, April 12, 2011 from Noon-8pm it’s free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cones for everyone! As their way of thanking customers for their support and to celebrate 33 years of scooping  deliciousness, Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops are giving away free ice cream cones.

Why am I mentioning this in our weekly Fair Trade Roundup? Because of Ben & Jerry’s growing commitment to Fair Trade, which you can learn more about here.

Graphic Credit:


CNN’s Freedom Project posted an interview with U. Roberto Romano about The Dark Side of Chocolate which you can watch here. This riveting documentary goes undercover to reveal the bitter truth about child slavery in the cocoa industry. To host your own screening, visit our website.

Graphic Credit: Partners for Just Trade

Partners for Just Trade announced their 2011 artisan tour that will visit the Pacific Northwest. Sonia Anahue Uscamayta from the Munay Rumi jewelry cooperative in Lima and Yody Gladys Moran Trillo from the El Mercurio knitting cooperative in Huancavelica, Peru will be traveling to the United States to share how Fair Trade has impacted their lives. The tentative artisan tour schedule can be found here, though date changes are possible, so you might want to double check the dates before making plans.

If you’re around Berkeley on Sat. May 14th (World Fair Trade Day!), this exciting artisan tour will be at our own Fair Trade Store!

NEW CHANGE.ORG ACTION CALLS ON HERSHEY TO FAIR TRADE THEIR EGGS just launched a new action calling on Hershey to extend Cadbury’s commitment to Fair Trade cocoa to Cadbury Crème Eggs in the US. Go here to learn more and to sign the petition.

Teakwood Platter from Global Exchange Fair Trade Store

Passover is almost here. You can find Passover Fair Trade Ideas here. Already looking to next year, Fair Trade Judaica is launching a new initiative called Next Year – Fair Trade Kosher for Passover Chocolate to encourage Kosher manufacturers to source Fair Trade cocoa beans for Passover products.

(To purchase the beautiful teakwood piece pictured visit our Online Fair Trade Store.)

Article: Sustainability of West African cocoa growing questioned
Article: A ‘divine’ fair trade policy for chocolate
LinkedIn Group Discussion: Is Criticism of Fair Trade Justified?
Events: World Fair Trade Day Event Listings (find events or post your own)
Resource: Easter and Passover Fair Trade Ideas

Check back here on our Fair Trade blog for more Fair Trade News Round-Ups…your one-stop shop for current Fair Trade news and events. And if you’ve got big Fair Trade news to share, email me!

Here’s your weekly roundup of the latest news and updates related to Fair Trade:


Ben Cohen shows off his t-shirt with Fair Trade logo

Ben & Jerry appeared on The Late Night Show with Jimmy Fallon recently where they introduced a new ice cream flavor with Fair Trade ingredients. It’s called “Late Night Snack” and features Jimmy Fallon’s mug on the packaging.

You won’t believe what’s in this new concoction. Would you believe potato chips and caramel are two key ingredients? (How could I make that up?!)

This TV segment was one of the best endorsements for Fair Trade we’ve seen lately. You can watch it here. The label featured in this segment is Fair Trade USA‘s Fair Trade label.

Jimmy Fallon pointing out the Fair Trade label

During the segment, Ben proudly sported a Fair Trade logo-emblazoned t-shirt and mentioned the term “Fair Trade” 11 times (I counted.) This number doesn’t include “Fair Trade” mentions by Jimmy or Jerry.

You can read more about what lead up to this Fair Trade-erific TV segment in this press release.

As Jimmy Fallon pointed out (literally) regarding the Fair Trade label on Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream, “This is a big deal right here.”


Make a Hershey Spoof Slogan, Ad, or Video. Have a little creative fun with the Raise the Bar Hershey Campaign!

Create a mock ad, tagline, or video asking Hershey to end pervasive child and forced labor and trafficking in the cocoa fields and replace it with Fair Trade, which prohibits these practices.

The three entry categories are:

  1. Slogan/tagline
  2. Advertisement, up to 8.5×11
  3. Video, up to 2 minutes

Deadline for submissions: March 24, 2011

The Raise the Bar Hershey Campaign will use the submissions in their campaign.  To learn more about the campaign, visit Once submissions are in, those who participate will be invited to vote on the winners.

Check out the prizes involved:

Visit the Raise the Bar Hershey Campaign coordinating organization websites for contest information and rules, how to submit your entry, information about brand jamming and examples of other brand jamming campaigns, and ideas and information to get you started, including Hershey ads and slogans that you can parody. These are the coordinating organizations:

Fair World Project’s free semi-annual publication For a Better World hits the stands this month at Whole Foods, plus cooperative grocery stores and hundreds of other places throughout the country. The Fair World Project promotes organic and fair trade practices and transparent third-party certification of producers, manufacturers and products, throughout the world.

Here’s a description of this publication from the Fair World Project website:

Featuring articles from a variety of perspectives; from farmer workers to 100% committed fair trade brands to deciphering certification schemes and trade organizations, “For a Better World” is an excellent resource to educate consumers.

Request the Fair World Project publication for free distribution here or download a pdf version right now here.

Check back each week right here on our Fair Trade blog for more Fair Trade News Round-Ups…your one-stop shop for current Fair Trade news and events. And if you’ve got big Fair Trade news to share, email me!

8 days, 8 Giving Thanksblog posts led up to this video. The posts and video highlight individuals chosen by Global Exchange staff members who are contributing to our social justice work in some way. So please join us in recognizing those special individuals who are helping to make this world a better place, and hope you enjoy the video.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is Part 1 in an 8-Part Giving Thanks series, a Global Exchange exclusive highlighting individuals (chosen by Global Exchange staff members) who are contributing to our social justice work in some way. This series will culminate with a “Giving Thanks” video to be launched right here on Wednesday, November 24th. So please join us in recognizing those special individuals who are helping to make this world a better place.

First Up: Global Exchange Executive Director Kirsten Moller thanks Ben & Jerry’s

I want to thank the Ben & Jerry’s company — Ben Cohen, Jerry Greenfield, Jeff Furman and Jostein Solheim in particular, because they have decided to go 100% Fair Trade by 2013.

Jeff Furman with Global Exchanger Shannon Biggs at our 2010 Human Rights Awards.

Having Ben and Jerry’s go Fair Trade represents a quantum leap in terms of volume and impact yet the company is quick to acknowledge the pioneering work of the smaller 100% Fair Trade companies who led the way.

Since the beginning Ben, Jerry and Jeff wanted to create a company that protected the livelihood of small Vermont dairy farmers, that paid a living wage to workers in the ice cream factory, that made a good product, and continued to have fun doing it — taking political risks whenever they could.

Ben & Jerry’s has done so much; Peace Pops and small grants to social justice groups doing grassroots work around the country, ice-cream shops in the former Soviet Union and downtown Detroit.

Even after the corporate take-over, Ben, Jerry and Jeff continued to stand for justice. And now they are working to make the whole supply chain fair — sugar, milk, coffee, vanilla, nuts and chocolate. For their Fair Trade commitment, along with their longstanding support of Global Exchange….

Thank you Ben and Jerry’s!

Who are YOU thankful for? Add your own thank you message in the Comments section to recognize someone you think is doing great social justice work. And if you feel so inspired, Retweet and Share this post to help spread the recognition all of our ‘Thankees’ deserve. Thank YOU.

Global Exchange staff showing off their evening looks

Global Exchange started the Human Rights Awards in 2001 to recognize and elevate the contributions of individuals and organizations who work tirelessly to advance the cause of peace, justice and the inalienable rights we call “human rights”—here in the United States and around the world.

This years’ honorees, Van Jones, Raúl del Águila from Peru, and our People’s Choice Honoree Mu Sochua exemplify and embody this spirit, and we’re proud to have honored them at the 2010 Human Rights Awards gala on Thursday, May 27th at Bimbo’s 365 Club in San Francisco, CA.

It was an inspiring evening shared by incredible human rights advocates.

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield speaking about Fair Trade while attendees enjoy Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream

We enjoyed the company of Ben and Jerry – who talked about their commitment to go 100% Fair Trade by 2013, while feasting on delicious Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for dessert.

All proceeds from the event go to support the important work of Global Exchange.  We are grateful to all of our sponsors and participants for their support.

If you weren’t able to make it this year, we hope you will join us in 2011.  Dates and details to come.

Check out some highlights from this years’ gala event! (click photo to enlarge)

Green Leaders Van Jones (2010 Human Rights Award Domestic Honoree) and Kevin Danaher (Global Exchange, Green Festivals) chat it up

Code Pink Alert!

Medea Benjamin, Pierre Labossiere and Van Jones smile for the camera

2010 Human Rights Award International Honoree Raúl del Águila accompanied by his wife

Guests dining it up!

Shannon Biggs (Global Exchange) with Jeff Furman (Ben & Jerry’s)

Nhu Miller with Devi Leiper, daughter of People’s Choice Award winner Mu Sochua

Global Stewards Saori and Mike Kappus with Medea Benjamin

Ben Cohen with Global Steward Jodie Evans of CODEPINK: Women for Peace

Global Exchangers and guest mingle

Fair Trade models sporting their “Ask Me About My Outfit” sashes

Gala attendees sharing a smile

Global Exchange’s Andrea Hightower with Domestic Honoree Van “I don’t take a bad picture” Jones