Cedarville “Unwraps the bitter truth” on child labor

By Scott Halasz

April 5, 2014

CEDARVILLE – Cedarville University’s social work department is hosting its 10th annual community night on April 8.

With an abundance of fair trade chocolate and coffee at the event, this year’s topic is child labor in the cocoa industry. The event will include a presentation from a group of students, a short documentary and an expert panel of Cedarville professors and community members involved with fair trade.

“This is a cutting-edge topic,” said Julie Furj-Kuhn, assistant professor of social work. “Our goal is to get people to think a little differently about their role as the consumer.”

Taught by Kuhn, a class of senior social work majors plans the community night each year. Running the class like a non-profit organization, Kuhn has the students write a mission statement and divides them up into committees.

Directly applying classroom knowledge to real life, the students plan the entire event including selecting the topic, marketing within the community and running the event. Since most people buy coffee and chocolate, the class chose the topic of child labor in the cocoa industry to raise awareness about this community-wide issue.

“This community night is not just about educating people on a social justice topic,” said Victoria Mueller, senior social work major from Bettendorf, Iowa. “We want to invest in the community and spark conversations that continue after the event.”

Come to the social work community night to eat consumer-responsible chocolate, coffee and tea, broaden your global perspective and unwrap the bitter truth about child labor in the coco industry.