Thursday, April 2, 2009

My Favourite Store!! Syracuse Cultural Workers.

I am so excited about promoting this organization that I just cannot contain myself until the giveaway and must sing their praises! I have been a customer of Syracuse Cultural Workers
going back several years. A colleague of mine introduced me to them in the early 1990s when I was teaching and I've been hooked ever since.

Syracuse Cultural Workers is a "peace and justice" publisher and distributor run out of a storefront in Syracuse, New York. Their mission statement encompasses the major issues facing the social conscience of our times promoting justice, respect for the earth and of elders, feminism, gay rights, cultural diversity and community! The materials they produce and distribute honour diversity and celebrate community using art as a strong tool for activism.
They express their mission most eloquently:

Syracuse Cultural Workers (SCW) is a peace and justice publisher founded in 1982. We create and publish visual materials, like calendars, posters, and cards, that are feminist, lesbian/gay allied, racially inclusive, and honor elders and children. We also distribute selected products, like books, music and video, to complement our offerings.Our mission is to help create a culture that honors diversity and celebrates community; that inspires and nurtures justice, equality and freedom; that respects our fragile Earth and all its beings; that encourages and supports all forms of creative expression.We see cultural work as an essential part of and support for political and economic change. Many of our materials celebrate movements for social change and their leaders, thus helping to legitimize history that is largely ignored or trivialized by commercial media and school textbooks. SCW also helps to unite socially concerned artists with a growing audience hungry for meaningful artwork.

(written by the members of the SCW quoted as seen on their website)

I agree, in every fiber of my being, with the beliefs they exhibit. In their statement of belief they state that we must create our own society which reflects and embodies our ideals and beliefs. We cannot solely "...expose the evils, display our disrespect for greed and violence, refuse to cooperate with a consumerist culture."(Jan Phillips SCW Co-founder) nor can we rely on our governments and others to create this "culture of change" we need to build it ourselves!
I believe in a culture that allows diversity in all forms cultural, racial, and sexual. It is these ideals my husband and I hope to pass on to our children. I want my daughters to celebrate themselves and to grow up strong, confident, and empowered. I want my son to continue to love and nurture the "feminine" side of his being without fear of persecution or ridicule. I have hope that my children will continue to experience and embrace human diversity, develop the strength of character to stand up for justice and to help to community build rather than build barriers.

We use SCW posters in our home as a daily reminder of what we as a family value. My son's wall had been adorned for years with a poster entitled "Celebrate the Whole Boy". We display and refer to our "Alternative Alphabet" proudly in our children's play room and "Celebrate Girls" greets everyone who enters the bedroom my two girls share. I keep a well-stocked box of SCW greeting cards in my craft room and I dish them out with relish!

One of the many things that endears me to this organization is their commitment to socially responsible business practices.
Their products are printed by union labour and on paper containing post-consumer waste and are labelled accordingly in their catalog. Their papers are processed chlorine and dioxin free. Their T-shirts are sweatshop free, and are created using fair labour practices. They have now expanded their commitment to organic materials. SCW
T-shirts are now organic cotton with the exception of only a few shirts they distribute from other producers and these are labelled as 100% cotton. They have two new t-shirts available which use low-impact dyes!

New items to their catalog include: "The White House Vegetable Garden" poster, a mosaic image poster of President Obama entitled "Out of Many, We are One", and one of my favourites a very cool "Rosa sat so that Martin could walk, Martin walked so that Barack could run, Barack ran so that all our children can fly~Kiari Day" T-shirt!

Syracuse Cultural Workers also carries a wide range of books appealing to one's social consciousness and includes a wonderful selection of children's titles.

Whether you are an avid activist or just want to locate fabulous tools to express your values and beliefs you will be excited and ignited by what you will find on Syracuse Cultural Workers website!
Read their "Have You Seen This?" page and consider donating to the organization's $10 Campaign while purchasing. If you are interested in helping to promote this worthwhile and unique publisher become part of the "Stuff-It" campaign or volunteer to distribute catalogs!

I am thrilled to announce that in the near future I will be hosting a Syracuse Cultural Workers giveaway! STAY TUNED!

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