Publication Date

2011

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Jeff Unsicker

Abstract

Fair Trade is a response to reduce poverty. Faith based groups have a history in contributing to the Fair Trade Movement. For Roman Catholics, Fair Trade Principles align with Catholic Social Teachings and creates an opportunity for them to put their faith and values into action. Social justice is at the center of why Catholics are engaged in Fair Trade.

The purpose of this study is to present a snapshot of Fair Trade Programs in place at Roman Catholic Churches in the Brooklyn and Queens Diocese. Through an action research approach, this study seeks to examine how Roman Catholic Churches in the Brooklyn and Queens Diocese are introduced to Fair Trade and to determine the types of Fair Trade initiatives they implement. A purposive sample was identified and face-to-face and telephone interviews were conducted with five representatives from Roman Catholic Churches in the Diocese.

The study finds that there is not a standard Fair Trade Program model in place at the Brooklyn and Queens churches; word of mouth is the most common point of entry for starting a Fair Trade initiative at a parish; most parishes host a Fair Trade Craft Sale as a component of their initiative; and the support of the parish leader is central to implementing a Fair Trade initiative.

The research concludes that there is window of opportunity for Roman Catholic Churches in Brooklyn and Queens to expand Fair Trade engagement and recommends capitalizing on World Fair Trade Day and Fair Trade Month Campaigns.

Disciplines

Civic and Community Engagement | Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations

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