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SMC departments promote sustainability, justice

| Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Saint Mary’s departments of education and art will host a Sustainable Arts Cafe and Market in Dalloway’s Clubhouse on Friday.

Bri O’Brien, co-chair of the Justice Education Student Advisory Committee (JSAC), said the cafe highlights the justice-oriented work of students and faculty on campus and benefits Northern Indiana by raising funds to combat hunger.

“Students can show their support for the awesome work of other students and faculty members through participating in the event,” O’Brien said. “Students can eat, shop, hang out and learn about sustainability while supporting the Saint Mary’s and Northern Indiana communities.”

Director of Justice Education Adrienne Lyles-Chockley said the event will help bring together the campus community, local organizations and individuals who are committed to food justice. She said students from across disciplines will come together to address poverty in the wider community by raising funds for the local food bank.

“Poverty and food insecurity are issues that affect everyone,” Lyles-Chockley said. “Here, people can address it while doing something they likely would do anyway: shop for holiday gifts.”

Lyles-Chockley said the event will feature spoken word by Poetic Melody and a poetry reading by English professor Aaron Moe.

O’Brien said students in the Sustainable Textiles course will display and sell the sustainable artwork they have created over this past semester. She said this would include eco-dyed scarves, journals and notebooks made from recycled cotton and denim, upcycled fabric handbags and essential oils.

O’Brien said there will also be coffee made from Fair Trade coffee beans, as well as a variety of local, organic foods available from vendors from the South Bend Farmers’ Market, which students can try free of charge. Students will have the opportunity to speak with Krista Bailey from the South Bend Office for Sustainability during this event, she said.

Lyles-Chockley said this event shows students that justice can be encountered in works of art and in consumption choices.

“Justice isn’t just encountered in lectures,” Lyles-Chockley said. “[The event] fulfills the Justice Education mission by getting students to think about the ways in which they can make small changes to create a more sustainable lifestyle, by introducing students to products that are justly made and to individuals who have committed themselves to making peaceful and just decisions in their consumer and production choices, and by introducing students to thinking about justice in an interdisciplinary way.”

JSAC member Morgan Matthews said she encourages students to attend the cafe because the products being sold are ones that people use daily.

“It’s not just using organic, sustainable products,” Matthews said. “You’re also helping the South Bend area because these people are trying to sell their products on the daily, and this would help business for them as well.

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About Nicole Caratas

Nicole is a senior English Writing and Humanistic Studies double major at Saint Mary's College. Now a senior news writer, she previously served as the Saint Mary's Editor. She was born in real Chicago but grew up in the suburbs, and she currently lives in Opus Hall.

Contact Nicole