Fair Trade Organizations and Diversity Education: Alternatives to Meeting Mutual Critical Needs

By Connie De Jong and Jennifer Miller.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Working in small arts organizations that seek to help diverse peoples to understand and respect one another, as well as to create reparations for social and economic injustices, we bring together two sets of varied experiences to suggest alternatives for improving society through action research in the United States. We are graduate students in Cultural Policy and Arts Administration who also work as a professional diversity educator in small arts organizations and a Fair Trade organization leader who has refocused the organization's mission to enhance cultural education. As collaborators, we know Fair Trade organizations prioritize the economic needs of artisans in developing regions and the importance of marketing products as connected to peoples' stories in their success as organizations. In addition, we know diversity educators utilize educational institutions as the main locations for improving understanding of all peoples. We have already begun mapping terrain that brings together the needs for diversity education within Fair Trade organizations. However, these organizations are often non-governmental, not for profit, or start-up businesses that do not maintain funding to provide regular and consistent diversity programming. Approaching diversity education within Fair Trade organizations requires defining new priorities for both agendas as well as funding options to complete them.

Keywords: Fair Trade, Diversity Education, International Trade, Cultural Boundaries, Traditions and Authenticity, Craft and Artmaking, Diversified Funding

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp.167-174. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 526.181KB).

Connie De Jong

Executive Director/Arts Scholars Coordinator, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

Connie De Jong serves as the Executive Director for Global Gallery, a local Fair Trade organization that grew from near-closure to four locations in the past 6 years under her leadership. De Jong is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Cultural Policy and Arts Administration at The Ohio State University as well as working full-time as the Arts Scholars Coordinator for undergraduate students at OSU. Each of these pursuits is unusual in her cultural context and stem from an innate desire to connect people of diverse backgrounds because of connections with people where she has lived, studied, worked or visited around the world, including the USA, Australia, Germany, India, Nepal, Tibet, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Cuba, Canada, Mexico, Egypt, and Brazil. De Jong holds an undergraduate degree in ethnomusicology from Lake Forest College and an MA in Comparative Studies from The Ohio State University. De Jong is bilingual in English and Spanish and has studied Marathi and Quichua.

Jennifer Miller

Profession Diversity Educator and Arts Consultant, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

Jennifer Miller has two bachelor's degrees in Vocal Music and History/Ethnic Studies and is currently working on two master degrees in Cultural Policy and Arts Administration and in Public Policy and Management at the Ohio State University. A former University Fellow, Miller teaches a writing-intensive undergraduate class in ethnic arts and visual culture. Miller has worked with the Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio, the Martin Luther King Jr. Performing and Cultural Arts Complex and Circa Music, and has presented major performances and festivals (i.e. Festival Latino) for the City of Columbus. Having conducted workshops with businesses, faith-based and civic organizations and schools, Miller is an experienced diversity trainer and public speaker. Miller is partnering with two professors of Art Education on a research project entitled White Folks in Black Spaces. In addition, Miller recently received funds from the Ohio Arts Council and the Greater Columbus Arts Council to conduct market research for a local non-profit, and is conducting research for the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission, a state agency. Miller serves as Advocacy Director for the Central Ohio Student Advocates for the Arts, one of most active student groups nationwide to participate in national and statewide lobbying efforts.


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