Organizer Spotlight – Altadena, CA
Teresa Baxter & Lori Webster
Building a community means recognizing our shared place in this world. It is through collaboration that true change happens, as evidenced by Teresa Baxter and Lori Webster, co-chairs of Altadena, California’s Fair Trade Town Campaign. Together, Teresa and Lori have worked to incorporate Fair Trade products and principles into their community. As they come close to completing the steps to becoming a Fair Trade Town, Lori and Teresa shared with me their highlights, aspirations and passions for Fair Trade and their community.
Below is the script from our interview:
What is your favorite Fair Trade product and why?
Lori: My favorite Fair Trade product is the recycled newsprint bags from Delhi that we use as merchandise bags in our [Ten Thousand Villages] store. Everyone comments on them and they appreciate that they’re not being given plastic bags.
Teresa: I really like Divine Chocolate for many reasons. Not only is their product “divine”, they are excellent collaborators within the entire Fair Trade community—at many of our events! I am also thrilled to see their product on the shelves of gourmet and grocery stores across the country. It makes my heart smile for the cocoa farmers in Kuapa Kokoo, Ghana.
What was your favorite event that you’ve hosted or participated in?
Lori: I love being part of Fair Trade Altadena—the best thing about it is meeting other people from different Fair Trade groups, like Fair Trade Los Angeles and Pasadena.
Teresa: Last October, the Fair Trade Pasadena and Altadena campaigns collaborated with a local coffee house, Copa Vida, on Art Night, to host 24 Hours of Coffee: Hope Rising. In honor of International Day of the Girl, the marathon affair featured Fair Trade pop up shops, continuous live music, and coffee art projects for the kids. The event raised money to bring awareness to human trafficking and all of the profits were donated to Oasis USA. Inspirational!
In one sentence, why do you value Fair Trade?
Lori: Fair Trade means equality and justice for all.
Teresa: When I think of Fair Trade and our work with people in the developing world, I am inspired by Nelson Mandela’s assertion that “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity; it is an act of [economic] justice.”
What are your future goals for your campaign?
Lori: Being that our campaign has completed the first four steps, I’m excited to finish the last step to become recognized as a Fair Trade Town.
Teresa: Lori and I are very much involved in bringing community awareness to our campaign. In fact, in October we will have prime exposure at the Altadena Best Fest, which is a celebration of the creative community in this town of 55,000 people.
Who is the most the most inspirational person in your life?
Lori: My inspiration is Dalai Lama and his belief that “If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.”
Teresa: I have been involved with several forces of nature in our International Fair Trade Movement, but I am currently inspired by the Executive Director of the Fair Trade Los Angeles campaign, Joan Harper. She has harnessed a focused group of motivated people in the pursuit of making Los Angeles the largest Fair Trade Town in the country! She has always got an iron in the fire when it comes to advocating for a fairer world, and the ethical treatment of everyone in our global community.
For more information on the Fair Trade Altadena campaign, please visit:
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