By Julianne Bartosz
Peace and Justice (P&J) is a club at Saint Mary’s University that aims to educate the SMU community on issues of social justice through constantly recognizing and promoting direct service as a tool for social change, said P&J Co-Advisor Marc Hartmann.
P&J hosts Fair Trade Fridays every week in Mary’s Hall, where they offer fresh fair trade coffee, tea, cocoa and pieces of chocolate.
“We offer products for free to promote awareness of fair trade practices,” said Meghan Campbell, co-president of P&J.
Even though the products are free, donations may be given to help P&J buy more products and fund additional events that the group promotes on campus.
This semester, P&J will be holding an event called Common Threads during which they will collect donated clothes and then sell them.
“Common Threads is our way of promoting sustainability,” said Campbell. “We wanted to give people an opportunity to reuse things and hopefully encourage them to donate their clothes more often.”
They will be accepting clothes donations from April 2-11. Then, the clothes will be sold to the community and campus in the Hall of Fame room April 12-14. Remaining clothes after the sale will be donated to Winona Volunteer Services.
Recently, P&J wrote a proposal to receive a grant for Reverend Green’s Fresh Start of Winona Organization. They were one of 16 groups to receive a grant from the Brother James Miller Social Justice Fund of the Christian Brothers of the Midwest District.
Fresh Start is an organization that helps people who were recently released from jail find a job and a place to live. “We chose to help Fresh Start because they promote fairness and equality for individuals in society regardless of their circumstances,” said Campbell.
Hartmann said that the money from the grant will be used to provide for the everyday living expenses needed to house up to 20 residents at a time.
Last semester, the club held a human trafficking awareness week, planned a Fair Trade Sale and attended a peace vigil at the School of the America’s (SOA) in Fort Benning, Ga.
To get involved with P&J, contact Meghan Campbell at email@example.com.