Tuesday, October 04, 2011


This time of year, I always like to remind my readers of two important justice causes that many make it a point to highlight in October. First, October is Fair Trade Month:
This October is the 8th annual Fair Trade Month in the United States. Throughout the month, conscious consumers and ethically-minded brands will unite to celebrate and promote Fair Trade. A variety of education events, in-store sampling programs and online initiatives have been planned to help increase awareness and sales of Fair Trade Certified products, ultimately leading to greater impact for farmers and workers in developing countries. The theme for Fair Trade Month 2011 is Every Purchase Matters.
What follows in that article are 10 ways to observe the month, including purchasing fair trade chocolate for Halloween.

Second, this week is Mental Illness Awareness Week:
In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in recognition of NAMI's efforts to raise mental illness awareness. Since 1990, mental health advocates across the country have joined together during the first full week of October in sponosoring many kinds of activities.

MIAW has become a NAMI tradition. It presents an opportunity to all NAMI state organizations and affiliates across the country to work together in communities to achieve the NAMI mission through outreach, education and advocacy.

The MIAW Idea Book suggests activities that can be incorporated into planning for the fall. Stickers, posters and a web banner to use on websites or in documents are available for download in English and Spanish.
A new thing this year (at least, I think it's new) is the National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding on October 4th, which especially encourages people of faith to remember and take action on behalf of those dealing with some form of mental illness. Had I known that, I'd have talked it up at my church before today.

If you're interested, take some time to read, learn more, and find out how you can support one or both of these important causes.