Ok, so there are a bunch of sweet projects you all have already started.  They’re looking so fly! Each works on a different issue from fair trade coffee, to war awareness, to food awareness.  Some of you have already signed up to be a part of these, but if not, it’s never to late to get on board.  If you’re interested in joining one of these action groups post a comment, come to a thurs meeting (7:30 library lobby) or e-mail kkl2@calvin.edu 

Food Awareness Group

This group is addressing issues surrounding food. Where does it come from, and how can we eat responsibly?  There are still a couple of food awareness events tonight and tomorrow.  Check them out on ESC’s blog http://www.calvinesc.wordpress.com  

War Awareness Group

Their main project is a week of events (October 13th-17th).  Check out the War Awareness web site:  http://www.warawareness.com/

The Democratic Republic of Congo Group (DRC)

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)

Where do your tomatoes come from? Last year SJC joined a protest at Burger King in support of Imokalee tomato pickers who were not getting paid fairly.  It was a success! Even though protests like these around the country convinced Burger King, McDonalds, and Taco Bell to work with the CIW, Chipolte has yet to improve worker’s wages and working conditions. Check out more: www.ciw-online.org

Broken Bread Meal

This year SJC is helping to sponsor a Broken Bread Meal.  This project, started by World Vision, gives folks a chance to reflect for a minute on the situations of so many kids who are impoverished, malnourished and have HIV.  Check it out:  http://www.worldvision.org/aoa.nsf/aids/events_brokenbread

Workers Rights Consortium (WRC)

Where do our clothes come from?  SJC is working with the Workers Rights Consortium (an organization that monitors companies) to assure that all Calvin apparel is made in places which value their workers through just payment and working conditions.  Learn more about the WRC:http://www.workersrights.org/

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This blog is a new idea for the Social Justice Coalition in 2009.  It’s meant to circulate thoughts and ideas throughout the week, and to share justice-related events that are happening in and around Grand Rapids.  We hope that many of you will contribute your own thoughts to the blog and use it as a resource to learn more about topics you’re interested in.  If you have something to write about, post a comment to let us know.  This isn’t meant to be a blog for just SJC leaders, anyone can contribute!

First of all, the Social Justice Coalition is based on the biblical ideas of justice (think Micah 6:8 “Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God).  Since our God brings justice to earth and teaches us to care for the orphan, widow, and other oppressed people, we think it’s important to get involved in issues of justice around the world and here in Grand Rapids.  Many of the issues that seem far removed from us have implications at the local level and can be worked at right here on our campus.

Some of the projects SJC has done have included:

Working with tomato pickers for better wages, bringing Fair Trade coffee to Calvin’s campus, sending support letters for debt relief witht the Jubilee Campaign, holding hunger awareness banquets, working on Farm Bill reform, and much more!  This semester we continue to work to bring more Fair Trade coffee to our campus and we are also working with the bookstore to ensure that all of Calvin’s apparel is produced under fair working conditions.

We welcome ideas from anyone, and would love to hear about issues you’d like to work on at Calvin.   See you Thursday at 7:30 in the Library Lobby!

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