Student Initiative Brings About Change at Lynn
In 2018, Lynn became the 48th university in the United States to become Fair Trade, leading to the creation of a task force that actively supports social justice in the workplace by supporting food and products that were made with fair wages for producers and protection of the environment.
Fair trade is trade between companies in developed countries and producers in developing countries in which fair prices are paid to the producers. The Fair Trade Task Force began after Lynn alumni Rigo Beltran went abroad to Nicaragua to work at Vega Coffee, a Fair Trade certified company, and worked hard to successfully replace Starbucks with Vega Coffee at many locations on campus.
Arianna Spencer, a senior studying international business management with a double minor in political science and public relations, has taken on the responsibility of leading the task force this year.
Spencer is spearheading the initiative with the help of the Director of the Social Impact Lab, Jerry Hildebrand. They are focusing on planning many events by increasing the presence and awareness of Fair Trade among the university.
“Fair Trade at Lynn was never really called a task force but just a group of people working hard to spread the message of Fair Trade,” said Spencer. “However, this year I spent time with Jerry Hildebrand in the Social Impact Lab to redesign what Fair Trade at Lynn would look like.”
Spencer has always been interested in social impact, starting out participating in the Women’s March in Washington D.C. and the March for Our Lives in Parkland. This ignited her passion to start doing social impact work on campus.
She joined the Ambassador Corps program and went to Rwanda to do an eight-week internship over the summer. This semester she is participating as a Millennium Fellow by creating a “Know-Your-Rights” clinic as well as focusing on expanding Fair Trade on campus.
“The task force is charged with making sure we fulfill the requirements set by our designation such as introducing new products on the campus, hosting different events and more,” said Spencer. “With that, some things that the task force is also focused on is teaching students and faculty about the importance of Fair Trade through events and talks.”
Anyone can join the the task force as long as they have a passion for social change and making a difference in their community.
“The task force is open to anyone willing to put in work and [who] cares about smart business,” said Spencer.
To get involved with the task force, contact Hildebrand at firstname.lastname@example.org.