Fordham Becomes Latest Catholic Fair Trade University

The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities extends its congratulations to Fordham University for being the latest Catholic university to be designated a Fair Trade University! Fordham students have worked hard to create Students for Fair Trade (SFT), the official fair trade student organization at Fordham, and to incorporate fair trade products into daily life at the university.

SFT is a student-run club that promotes fair trade in business and consumption through education and advocacy. Through SFT, Fordham has been able not only to sell fair trade products at almost all of their restaurants and bookstores, but also to host employees of Alta Gracia, the only garment company in the global south to be certified for paying its workers a living wage.

Congratulations to Fordham for their great work in promoting fair trade!

A Call to Combat Racism in Jesuit Higher Education

Food for Thought Friday: In a recent America Magazine article, , author Alex Mikulich highlights how Jesuit colleges and universities can increase diversity and combat racism.  He calls for greater diversity among student bodies and faculties and multicultural programming, noting that “The rationale for Jesuit institutions to develop bold initiatives for both diversity and racial equity are deeply rooted in Jesuit and Catholic values”. He calls for an “analysis of white privilege, power, and racism in the context of US history”, transformative training and practices to increase diversity in students, faculty, and staff, and liberation from intellectual, moral, human, and spiritual deformities caused by racism.

Mikulich mentions some Jesuit higher education institutions have begun to act on their commitment to diversity, equality. He writes “some schools, like Fordham University and other institutions, have engaged in proactive, antiracist institutional training through Crossroads Ministry or the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, which offer training, resources, and capacity-building to engage racial equity practices.”  Read more in his essay, Breathing Space.

#HigherEdWithPope: Fordham University

As Pope Francis continues his apostolic journey to the Americas this week, he will visit New York City, arriving Thursday evening, September 24 and departing Saturday morning, September 26.

As Our Holy Father gets ready to visit the most populous city in the United States, he is joined in preparation by the students, faculty, and staff at NYC’s only Jesuit university, Fordham University. As Pope Francis is a Jesuit, the spiritual connection between him and the University is powerful and evident in the activities in anticipation and celebration of his visit.

A week before the Pontiff’s visit, Fordham began their preparatory activities with a provocative panel discussion entitled, “None of his Business? Pope Francis on Climate Change and the Economy“. The event was a continuation of the overall conversation at Fordham on Pope Francis’ writing. The first event, which took place last December, was on the Pontiff’s debut encyclical, Evangelii Gaudium. For this year’s discussion, Fordham hosted Jo Confino of the Huffington Post, Hunter Lovins,  green businessman and the author of Natural Capitalism, and Andrew Winston, founder of Winston Eco-Strategies and the author of Green Recovery. The panelists were brought together by one of Fordham’s own, Associate Professor Michael Pirson.

To continue their efforts in praying for Our Holy Father, the University held special Masses of Anticipation on Sunday, September 20, with one Mass at the University Church and the other at Lincoln Center.

The university’s schedule continues with live viewings of all the papal addresses and Masses during his visit to the Americas. On Thursday, September 24, the Fordham community is invited to watch the Pontiff’s address to Congress and to pray with him as he leads evening vespers at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Friday, September 25 offers a chance for the community to watch live the papal address to the UN.

Similar to initiatives at the Catholic University of America, Fordham has decided to honor Pope Francis’ wishes for greater involvement in works of charity and social justice. To finish their week of preparing for and celebrating this historic apostolic visit, Fordham students are invited to join Habitat for Humanity’s Pope Francis House in Yonkers to help construct homes on Saturday, September 26.

Stay tuned to learn how other Catholic colleges are preparing for the Papal Visit!

#HigherEdWithPope: Catholic colleges and universities are greatly anticipating the upcoming visit of Pope Francis to the United States, and several colleges will play a special role during the Papal Visit. This series highlights how certain Catholic colleges and universities are preparing for the Papal Visit, and how Catholic higher education lives out the vision of Pope Francis every day.

Hope for Creation: Awaiting the Encyclical

As the release date for Pope Francis’s new encyclical draws nearer, researchers from various fields and interests share their predictions and hopes for the care of creation. A recent National Catholic Reporter article features thoughts by theologians and other experts from 10 ACCU members: Fordham University, Duquesne University, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, University of Dayton, Boston College, Loyola University New Orleans, Mount Saint Mary’s University, Loyola Chicago University, and Georgetown University. Both ACCU member academics and activists from partnering organizations voiced their expectations regarding the connections Pope Francis will make between care for creation and other themes, such as option for the poor and vulnerable, solidarity, and answering the call to family, unity, and participation.

Academics are also engaging the topic of climate change in other ways.  Last month, Cabrini College hosted “Faith Climate and Health: Creation Care for a Greener Future,” a half-day, interfaith conference focusing on care for creation. The keynote speech by Dr. John Burke treated predictions and hopes for the upcoming encyclical, especially focusing on care for creation through a lens of social justice. Additionally, an address by Rabbi Arthur Waskow compared the current environmental situation with other histories of oppression. The conference was also an ideal time for everyone to share their efforts toward sustainability. Learn more about the conference here.

How does your campus engage with Fair Trade?

ACCU has created “Fair Trade and Catholic Higher Education”, highlighting how ACCU member institutions have engaged with the fair trade movement. To download the document, and view additional Fair Trade resources, please visit our website.

Did you know that students at Fordham University run their own Fair Trade business? View the website here, and let us know how your campus engages with Fair Trade!