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IRTF Events Calendar

November 29, 2023 to December 16, 2023: IRTF Fair Trade Events




About IRTF Fair Trade

IRTF works towards justice and equity in the distribution, access to, and participation in the production and consumption of the world’s resources for the people of Central America and Colombia. IRTF examines the corporate-dominated globalization of the economy through the lens of people in Central America and Colombia and how their reality is linked to ours in NE Ohio.  IRTF challenges the dominant economic model that results in exploitation both at home and abroad. IRTF offers an alternative through Fair Trade. 


Fair trade is a trade model that sets a series of standards to ensure fair wages and human dignity for producers, community investment, environmental sustainability, and more.  IRTF promotes Fair Trade as an alternative trade model to the conventional free market system of trade that currently dominates our world and further divides us into “haves” and “have nots.”


At outreach tables throughout the year, IRTF sells fair trade items—raising tens of thousands of dollars—so that artisans and farmers in Latin America can earn a living wage. Fair trade is an important of IRTF’s human rights mission: to call together people in NE Ohio to walk in solidarity with oppressed peoples of Central America and Colombia to achieve peace, justice, human rights and systemic transformation through nonviolence.


IRTF’s origins and mission to promote economic justice

On December 2, 1980, two members of the Cleveland Catholic Mission Team in El Salvador were tragically murdered.  The martyrs:  Jean Donovan, a lay woman from St Luke’s Parish in Lakewood, and Sister Dorothy Kazel, an Ursuline sister who had taught at Beaumont School in Cleveland Heights. They were killed alongside Maryknoll Sisters Ita Ford and Maura Clarke.


The InterReligious Task Force on Central America (IRTF) was formed so that we here in northeast Ohio might live out their legacy—standing in solidarity with oppressed peoples as they struggle for peace and justice.


Promoting economic justice through fair trade is an important part of IRTF’s human rights mission. IRTF brought Equal Exchange, the first fair trade coffee company in the US, to Cleveland in the mid-1990s. Many congregations started selling and serving Equal Exchange coffee as an act of justice and solidarity. Heinen’s became the first grocery chain in the US to sell Equal Exchange in all its stores.Today, IRTF, an interfaith social justice organization, continues as a leader in the NE Ohio fair trade movement.



IRTF depends on the volunteer help of fair trade enthusiasts to raise vital income for farmers and artisans in the Global South.

If you can help us out for a couple of hours at any of these upcoming fair trade tables, please send a message to or call us at (216) 961 0003. Thank you.



[Note: The school sales are not open to the general public; they are designed for students, parents, faculty, and staff.]



St Edward High School

Lakewood, OH




St Joseph Academy High School

Cleveland, OH

11am-2pm and 5-8pm



Walsh Jesuit  High School

Cuyahoga Falls, OH

10am-1pm and 6-9pm



Church of the Saviour

Cleveland Heights, OH




St Patrick Church

Near West Side (Cleveland)

Sat: 5-6:30pm

Sun: 9am-1pm



Magnificat High School

Rocky River, OH

11am-1pm each day



Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin High School

Chardon, OH




Community of St Peter

Cleveland, OH




IRTF Open House

Near West Side (Cleveland)



Other Ethical Shopping and Fair Trade Opportunities

Whether or not you’re able to shop in-person with IRTF, please check out these other holiday shopping options that promote the solidarity economy.


-Holiday Shopping Guide from the Fair Trade Federation


-Fair trade stores in Ohio, including in Cleveland (Revy, One World Shop), Akron (The Market PathGlobal Threads Boutique, Oberlin (INTO), Columbus (Global Gifts, World Peaces, and Global Gallery), Kidron (World Crafts) and Northwest Ohio (Ten Thousand Villages in Bluffton and Archbold)


-Ethically made apparel from The Collection, a collaboration of textile manufacturers in North Carolina. When you shop from Collection, you are ensuring that the folks who manufacture the line of ethically made t-shirts, socks and other apparel have quality jobs with voice, agency, and equity. They have developed methods and materials to make products that can last a lifetime. With a goal of zero waste, they cut waste at every step of the manufacturing process. Ignatian Solidarity Network .


-Wrap Up Homelessness: Get your issue of the NEO Coalition for the Homeless newspaper featuring sheets of gift wrapping paper designed by folks with lived experience of homelessness. Available at West Side Market, Upcycle Parts, Mac’s Backs, and 5 Points Coffee & Tea.


 -Ohio Immigrant Alliance has published its first-ever holiday gift guide! It's a curated list of ethical, impactful, and magical gifts. From fair trade to faux eyelashes, there's something for everyone on your list.  Download last year’s gift guide.  






IRTF Fair Trade items 

  • The items that IRTF sells are handcrafted by worker-owners of fair trade cooperatives in southern Mexico (Nahua people of Guerrero),  Central America and Colombia
    • Colombia (tagua jewelry, wire yarn animals)
    • El Salvador (coconut shell jewelry, painted wood products, crocheted purses)
    • Guatemala (beaded key chains, ornaments, earrings, headbands; wallets, handbags)
    • Mexico (silver jewelry)
    • Honduras (some of the earrings).  
  • The cooperatives are small businesses, worker-owned, mostly by women. They set their own hours and working conditions.  Most importantly, they pay themselves a living wage (in the local context), but still live in poverty.
  • Because they earn a living wage, their children don’t have to drop out of school to help support the family. So fair trade is also helping the next generation as well.
  • By selling handmade crafts, we highlight the importance of fair trade as a just alternative to corporate-led globalization, which is shutting out small producers.



Price range of items

$4-10: small clay bobble-head animals, wire yarn animals, hacky sacks, finger puppets, beaded key chains, beaded holiday ornaments, friendship bracelets, snap leather bracelets, barrettes, wallets

$10-20: wallets, small purses, handbags, coconut shell earrings, silver earrings, silver bracelets, silver rings, novelty items

$20-30: wallets, purses, handbags, laptop covers

$30-40: purses, handbags, messenger bags

$40-50: large purses, messenger bags



Equal Exchange items

IRTF is a long-term partner of Equal Exchange, the first fair trade coffee company in the U.S. IRTF brought Equal Exchange to NE Ohio in the mid-1990s. Heinen’s became the first grocery chain to sell Equal Exchange in all its stores.


IRTF offers these Equal Exchange fair trade food products:

$4 chocolate bars

$5 tea

$7 dried fruit, hot cocoa mix, baking cocoa

$9 nuts

$9-$11 coffee (regular, flavored, decaf)

$18 olive oil

December 6, 2023: COPINH: The process of seeking justice for Berta Cáceres, analysis and update.
Honduras: 9:00am-10:30am; New York; 10:00am-11:30 am; California: 07:00am - 08:30am; Colombia: 10:00am - 11:30am; Buenos Aires: 12:00pm - 01:30pm; Europe: 04:00pm - 05:30pm

The process of seeking justice for Berta Cáceres, analysis and update.
From COPINH we send greetings of health and well-being to all of you.

On this occasion we are writing to you to call you to a new virtual meeting to update and share on the status of the process of seeking justice for the assassination of our companion Berta Cáceres. 

We are at a key moment and it is very important to be able to share information about it with allies.

Justice for Berta Cáceres: no more impunity in Honduras.

Tema: Zoom meeting invitation - Reunión de Zoom de COPINH Honduras 

Entrar Zoom Reunión  
 ID de reunión: 892 1314 6947 
Código de acceso: 155758 

December 12, 2023: NISGUA: Interweaving Struggles In Times Of Change - 2023 Fundraising End Of Year Event
5:00pm PST, 7:00pm GT, 8:00pm EST
  5:30 pm: Program begins! Trans-Territorial Table - A solidarity space of 8 projects by BIPOC grassroots activists, artists, and leaders who have been working since August 2023 and will share their community projects and experiences of resistance.

[Español abajo]

You're invited! Please join us on December 12th at 5:00pm PST,7:00pm CT, 8:00pm EST as we celebrate the interweaving of many struggles in these times of change!

We will hear from trans-territorial iniciatives, poems, and organizers who will share their community projects and experiences of resistance to create cross-border relationships with other people in struggle.

There will be Spanish <> English translation and closed captions in both languages.

Register for the Event NOW: Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala - NISGUA celebrates the interweaving of struggles in times of change! (

5:00 pm: (Optional) Happy Hour/ Social time – (Re)Connect virtually with members of the NISGUA community: We will set up hosted break out rooms for collective connection prior to the main event. Bring your drink and/or your food to share virtually.

5:30 pm: Program begins!

Trans-Territorial Table - A solidarity space of 8 projects by BIPOC grassroots activists, artists, and leaders who have been working since August 2023 and will share their community projects and experiences of resistance.


5:00 pm: (Opcional) Media hora feliz/ Tiempo bienvenida – (Re)Conéctate virtualmente con miembros de la comunidad NISGUA: Se establecerán salas de bienvenida para la conexión colectiva antes del evento principal. Te invitamos a traer tu bebida o comida favorita para compartir virtualmente.

5:30 pm: Comienza el programa. Presentando

Mesa Trans-Territorial - Es un espacio solidario de 8 proyectos de activistas de base BIPOC, artistas y líderes que han estado trabajando desde agosto de 2023 y compartirán sus proyectos comunitarios y experiencias de resistencia para tejer relaciones transfronterizas con otras personas en lucha.