Farewells and Welcomes: Fair Trade Campaigns Fellows

Kylie Nealis October 31, 2019

As the Fair Trade movement continues to grow across the U.S., we are more grateful than ever for the strength of our regional networks. In the Mid Atlantic, Northeast, Southwest and Great Lakes, these networks bring together town, college and university, school and congregation campaigns to learn from and collaborate with one another. None of this would be possible without the work of our regional teams, led by our amazing Fair Trade Campaigns Fellows!

© Jessica Yurinko


Our 2018-19 Fellows finished their term in mid-October, passing the baton to their successors. It’s a bittersweet transition – we’re lucky to have amazing individuals on board for the year ahead, and while we’ll miss those who are leaving we can’t wait to see the great things they’ll go on to do. Join us in wishing our outgoing team the best in their next adventure, and welcoming the newest leaders of our Fair Trade regional networks!

Thank you and Farewell

Dana Peters, 2018-19 Southwest Regional Fellow

My time working with Fair Trade Campaigns as one of the Southwest Regional Fellows was a life changing experience. I have cared about sustainability for years, yet never really felt as though I had a niche until I learned about Fair Trade and conscious consumerism. Working as a Fellow gave me the opportunity to meet many enthusiastic advocates, all working towards a more ethical world, and I will forever be grateful for those connections that continue on after my time with the fellowship ends. The conference in Chicago this past year stood out as one of the highlights; inspirational speakers, passionate activists, and the almost tangible feeling of camaraderie and dedication in the air created an unforgettable weekend. The fellowship reminded me why I got involved in the sustainability field in the first place, and gave me a renewed sense of purpose. Thank you to all of the wonderful campaigners, other fellows, and Fair Trade Campaigns staff that made this last year so significant. Looking forward to seeing what the movement has in store!

Jasmine French, 2018-19 Southwest Regional Fellow

My time working as a Fellow in the Southwest region has strengthen my passion for the Fair Trade movement. Working with campaigners all across Southern California made it so evident that progress is moving rapidly for sustainability, fair wages, and a more just world. I have grown so much in my professional development, gained new life-long friends across the country, and made an impact for a brighter future. It has been the biggest privilege to be in this role, and given the opportunity to put my feet on the ground to stand up and speak out  for those who wouldn’t have a voice otherwise.

Justain Connor, 2018-19 Northeast Regional Fellow

Spending the past year as a Northeast Regional Fellow has been a wonderful experience. Working alongside my campaigns and the rest of the Fair Trade Campaigns team has provided me with invaluable experience. From the time spent reaching out to all of the advocates spread across the northeast to facilitating group meetings and discussions, I have greatly improved on my professionalism. Those experiences alone made the Fellowship great but along with being given the opportunity to personally learn more about fair trade alongside like minded individuals, I must say it is an experience that I will hold onto forever. Good luck to all the campaigners, fellows, and staff I’ve had a chance to interact with over the past year, and I wish everyone the best of luck!

Lily Mason, 2018-19 Northeast Regional Fellow

Advocating alongside Fair Trade Campaigns and the wide variety of folks who are a part of this network has been inspiring, to say the least. It has been so reassuring to know how many movers and shakers exist through out the Northeast region andacross the country. I’ll always be grateful for the insights I learned though the professional development tracks and conference. My note books are filled and I plan on sharing this important information as I transition into the Burlington town campaign. Cheers to everyone for their time, dedication and perseverance <3  

Justin Seis, 2018-19 Great Lakes Regional Fellow

Getting to be a Fair Trade Fellow in the Great Lakes Region for the past year has been one of the most incredible experiences.  I came to Fair Trade through a campaign at my alma mater and was drawn to the work, because it touches on and address so many different components of what we need to make a more just and equitable world.  I’ve been inspired to get to connect with so many amazing allies and advocates within the Fair Trade movement who are doing incredible work within and around their communities through Fair Trade and the many different issues it intersects with, like worker’s rights and sustainability.  To the new Fellows, take in as much as you can from your time in the fellowship!  There are so many amazing people to connect with and learn from in this work.  You will get out of the experience more than you might imagine!

Sloan Smith, 2018-19 Great Lakes Regional Fellow

The Fair Trade Campaign Fellowship Program is something that I will never forget. While I honestly did not know what to expect, I knew that this experience was going to impact me in a way that I hadn’t experienced before. I not only gained more knowledge about Fair Trade, but I became apart of a new family of people from all over the country who were just as passionate about helping others as I was. Thank you so much to everyone I met, emailed, zoomed with (lol), and were apart of this journey to me. I wouldn’t change a thing and would do it all over again! Thank you Great Lakes, and Fair Trade!

Zoe Sheppard, 2018-19 Mid Atlantic Regional Fellow

Working as one of the Fellows in the Mid-Atlantic Region for Fair Trade Campaigns was nothing short of an amazing experience! I had some experience with Fair Trade advocacy prior to the fellowship, but the opportunities to make deeper connections and work closely with other advocates throughout the nation was something that I had never experienced. I learned so much from others throughout the past year and had the chance to get more involved with the different pockets of Fair Trade that existed right around me. It was so inspiring to be able to work so hands-on with different groups of people that all cared so much for the same cause! Organizing network calls, helping local schools/universities plan events, and learning about what creative initiatives various campaigns have initiated was super inspiring, and I’m so excited to carry all the tools and skills that I have learned with me!

Taryn Lemmon, 2018-19 Mid Atlantic Regional Fellow

Working with Fair Trade Campaigns as a Mid Atlantic Regional Fellow has been life altering. I came into the fellowship program with an interest in environmental sustainability and a dream to ‘be the change.’ Fair Trade Campaigns has not only given me the tools and understanding to be a steward for the earth, but a steward for the people. I’ve never felt more connected to nature, humans, or simple every day tasks like brewing a cup of coffee and I am now confident in my abilities to share that connection with others. As all of the fellows move on I can’t wait to see the positive impact we create wherever we end up in this world. Thank you Fair Trade Campaigns!

Check out these great resources from our 2018-19 Fellows

Each year, Fair Trade Campaigns Fellows take on projects to grow the network and further our strategic priorities. This year, Fellows worked in pairs to develop new resources and recommendations to drive our national strategy in the months and years ahead.

Taryn Lemmon & Justain Connor
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: Strategies for Increasing Inclusivity and Participation within Fair Trade Schools

Zoe Sheppard & Jasmine French
Grow Deeper with Fair Trade: Ongoing Engagement Guide

Lily Mason & Justin Seis
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusivity: A Closer Look At Intersectional Advocacy

Dana Peters & Sloan Smith
Fair Trade Futures: Strategies for Continued Involvement

Meet the 2019-20 Regional Fellows

We are excited to welcome this new team of Fellows to support our regional and national work over the coming year. We know that our 2019-20 Fellows will be a great resource for campaigns in our established regions – please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Alexis Lyken, 2019-20 Southwest Regional Fellow

Alexis is a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), where she’s studying Environmental Science with a minor in Geological Technical Studies. She has a focus on sustainability and the issues of human trafficking in her community and globally. During her years in college she has been awarded two Community-Based Research awards that focus on sustainability initiatives and is continuing her second year as President of the Students to Abolish Sex Slavery club on campus. As club president, she has undertaken UNR’s Fair Trade campaign. Her position enables her to bring awareness to the importance of Fair Trade and its connection to human rights, anti-trafficking advocacy, and sustainability. Alexis also served on Fair Trade Campaigns National Student Leadership Committee from 2018-19 and is eager to expand her involvement as a Southwest Regional Fellow. alexis@fairtradecampaigns.org

Kaila Moraga, 2019-20 Southwest Regional Fellow

Kaila is a fourth year student from California Polytechnic University, Pomona, studying Environmental Biology with an emphasis on Ecology, Conservation and Biodiversity. Kaila serves as the Sustainability Technical Projects Assistant for Cal Poly’s Facilities. Planning and Management, where she aims to engage students with sustainable initiatives through various educational workshops and collaboration events with campus organizations. Some projects include the Fair Trade Campaign on her campus, as well as collaborations with student organizations to obtain The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF), a $100,000 budget dedicated towards sustainability initiatives. Kaila is eager to expand her involvement with Fair Trade and provide individuals with resources and insights to help them feel empowered and motivated in their advocacy efforts. kaila@fairtradecampaigns.org

Isabel Geisler, 2019-20 Northeast Regional Fellow

Currently a Sociology PhD student at Northeastern University, Isabel holds a B.A in Global Studies, minor in Spanish, and certificate in Geographic Information Systems from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). She has conducted field research on the impact of gender equity policies in Honduran fair trade coffee cooperatives (2016) as well as an analysis of carceral feminist narratives in the Mexican movement against feminicidio (2018). Isabel has a great interest in sharing her passion for ethical labor and production and is excited to join the Fair Trade Campaigns team as a 2019-20 Fellow. isabelg@fairtradecampaigns.org

Arthur Elbthal, 2019-20 Northeast Regional Fellow

Arthur Elbthal joins Fair Trade Campaigns as a recent graduate from Assumption College with a BA in Marketing who has adjusted his focus towards the conscious consumerism movement. This included leading a team on his campus in Massachusetts as Vice President of the Social Justice Ambassadors and subsequently as the Fair Trade Campaign Coordinator. In this Campaign Coordinator role, he organized events and collaborated with Fair Trade companies in an effort to grow Fair Trade at his college. Now as part of the 2019-20 Fellowship, he is eager to expand his horizons and look to the Northeast region for exciting Fair Trade opportunities! arthur@fairtradecampaigns.org

Isabel Hoyos 2019-20 Great Lakes Regional Fellow

Isabel is passionate about building healthy, sustainable food systems that support both people and the planet. She is originally from Medellín, Colombia, but currently lives in Chicago, where she is an undergraduate student at Loyola University, majoring in Food Systems and Sustainable Agriculture. She first got involved with Fair Trade through the Fair Trade Committee at her university, and looks forward to helping spread the message, facilitate new campaigns, and support all those who want to advocate for ethical and environmentally responsible consumption. isabelh@fairtradecampaigns.org

Zachary Rochester, 2019-20 Great Lakes Regional Fellow

Zachary Rochester is a Yoga and meditation teacher, student at the University of Iowa studying public policy, and a passionate advocate within the state of Iowa. In addition to leading the University of Iowa’s Fair Trade Campaign, Zachary also leads the Iowa City Fair Trade Coalition.  Zachary seeks to make our communities more compassionate, healthy, and just and believes that the Fair Trade Movement can help do so. zachary@fairtradecampaigns.org


Jovi Broadus, 2019-20 Mid Atlantic Regional Fellow

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Jovi Broadus has over ten years’ experience in fashion and lifestyle digital marketing. With degrees from The Fashion Institute in International Trade and Marketing for the fashion industries, as well as Advertising and Marketing Communications & Merchandising; Jovi hopes to use her experience and drive to uplift Black people and communities both home and abroad through opportunities and fairness. Jovi is a celebrity news, Black culture & Black female empowerment Content Creator and aspiring African goods importer and distributor. Through empowering black culture globally Jovi hopes to counter issues in the community and empower development and change in underserved and misunderstood communities at home and abroad. Jovi believes if you give a man a fish, he can eat today but if you show a man how to fish, he can feed himself and his village for a lifetime. Jovi is also a member of the NYC Fair Trade Coalition (NYCFT) and previously NYCFT’s Business Member Chair. jovi@fairtradecampaigns.org

Liz Nies, 2019-20 Mid Atlantic Regional Fellow

Liz Nies is a recent graduate of John Carroll University where she majored in Sociology and double-minored in Political Science and Peace, Justice, and Human Rights. Liz became interested in Fair Trade after first learning about it in a social justice course and recognizing it as a way to put her social justice values into practice in her everyday life. She then worked as a Fair Trade Intern with John Carroll’s Campus Ministry, a position which allowed her to further develop her knowledge of Fair Trade and to share it with her campus community. Liz is currently working on her Masters in Social Work at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She is looking forward to using her passion for social justice in service of Fair Trade Campaign’s work in the Mid Atlantic Region! liz@fairtradecampaigns.org

In a region and want to get involved? Let us know!
Reach out to one of your regional Fellows, or drop us a line at admin@fairtradecampaigns.org.

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Kylie Nealis, National Organizer for Fair Trade Colleges & Universities

Kylie brings over 5 years of community organizing and non-profit experience to Fair Trade USA, previously working with Global Exchange and Sierra Club. At Global Exchange she took on a variety of roles including Community Rights Program Associate, Fair Trade Campaign Coordinator, Fair Trade Store Sales Associate and Interim Director of Operations. For the past two years she worked in the Executive Office at Sierra Club providing support to C-level staff and the Board of Directors. Kylie is knowledgeable and passionate about Fair Trade, climate and energy issues, human rights and social and economic justice. Kylie graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Community Studies and Politics. She also lived in Thailand for 5 years and is conversational in Thai and learning Spanish. In her free time, Kylie enjoys being outdoors, hiking and traveling.