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‘World Day of Social Justice’

Linden Leaf Gifts sells many fair trade items, including coffee.

Linden Leaf Gifts sells many fair trade items, including coffee.

The General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed Feb. 20 as “World Day of Social Justice,” with a theme this year of fair trade.

“The gap between the poorest and the wealthiest around the world is wide and growing. … We must do more to empower individuals through decent work, support people through social protection, and ensure the voices of the poor and marginalized are heard,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Participation and transparency in trade agreements is an essential requirement of fair trade. Such agreements promote environmental, social and economic sustainability while protecting human rights.

One trade agreement currently being negotiated that is not meeting fair trade requirements is The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

TPP is a controversial NAFTA free trade type of agreement that the Obama Administration is negotiating in secret with 12 other countries and is refusing to release the text of the document. Corporations are strongly backing this legislation.

“TPP will put the profits of corporations above the needs of communities fighting for labor rights, clean water, access to medicine, environmental protections and democratic governance. Currently, the voice of marginalized communities is missing from the negotiating table,” according to the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns.

As people of faith and as citizens, we have a responsibility to influence the decisions our government makes.

A letter to all members of Congress, initiated by NETWORK, a national Catholic social justice lobby, and signed by 35 major faith organizations – including Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious – is opposing this legislation.

Add your voice to those rejecting this legislation here.

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Sister Donna Butler

Sister Donna Butler has been a Sister of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods for more than 60 years. Sister Donna has served in elementary education, parish ministry, diocesan social justice, as well as the Congregation’s liturgy office, archives department and social justice outreach. She also administered as the director of the Providence Volunteer Ministry. Sister Donna currently volunteers in outreach with Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College students.

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1 Comment

  1. Carol Nolan on February 20, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Thanks so much, Donna!

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