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The Spoken Word Project is an annual program that brings together a small group of students from across the province to learn about a specific global issue from a professional in the field. The students then participate in a workshop with a professional poet to compose a piece about the topic.

This year, three students from Morden Collegiate Institute, River East Collegiate, and Vincent Massey Collegiate learned about fair trade from members of Fair Trade Manitoba and took a tour of Ten Thousand Villages to gain insight into the lives of producers. Nationally recognized writer and poet Steve Locke led them in writing, recording and rehearsing their poem which was performed before live audiences at MCIC’s “Globally Speaking” event and at The National Fair Trade Conference.    The Spoken Word piece highlights the often unsafe working conditions in the Global South. The poem explores how consumerism in the North puts unfair pressure on producers and creates opportunities for exploitation of children and underpaid workers. It highlights the ways fair trade and ethical consumer practices can help protect the rights of workers and allow communities to flourish.

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