SRU partner Amizade to discuss “fair-trade learning” at spotlight breakfast March 23


Students helping with construction

Students from Slippery Rock University helped build a school near Cochabamba, Bolivia, in January while partnering with the nonprofit organization Amizade. Members from Amizade will be at SRU, March 23, to share their fair-trade learning model for a “Spotlight on Civic Engagement” breakfast.

March 16, 2018

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Amizade, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organization that makes a global impact through a practice called "fair-trade learning," will share its service-learning model at Slippery Rock University from 8-9:30 a.m., March 23 at the Smith Student Center Theater. The event is part of the SRU Office of Community-Engaged Learning's "Spotlight on Civic Engagement" breakfast series. Staff from Amizade will present "Ethical Approaches to Global Service-Learning."

Amizade partnered with SRU to facilitate a service-learning experience for 13 students and staff who traveled to Cochabamba, Bolivia, Jan. 3-18. Amizade (pronounced AH-mee-zah-jee and which means "friendship" in Portuguese) applies the practice of fair-trade learning, where host communities have a voice in service projects and are offered more just, equitable and sustainable benefits and opportunities.

Bridget Mullins


"Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans travel the world to participate in study and volunteer programs," said Bridget Mullins, Amizade's senior program coordinator, who will be one of the presenters. "Many of these programs operate by focusing solely on the student experience and rarely consider the unique and complex ways that the communities they visit are impacted. Amizade pioneered the concept of fair-trade learning because we recognized the importance and power of a mutual learning partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect."

During the presentation at SRU, staff from Amizade will share stories of both successes and failures in their attempts to use the fair-trade model.

"While Amizade by no means claims to meet our fair-trade standards all the time," Mullins added, "we do believe that they motivate us to strive towards a more ethical form of engagement in the world."

In addition to learning from community members, the SRU group that traveled to Bolivia worked at three service sites near Cochabamba: helping develop an arboretum in Tiquipaya; a bird sanctuary in Quillacollo; and taking part in three, seven-hour workdays helping build the Caramarca Otavi Community School in Vinto. Learn more about their experience at:

The fifth of six spotlight sessions, which includes a pancake breakfast, is free and open to the public, but attendees must RSVP on the event page of SRU's CORE platform or by emailing

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 |