December social justice calendar 

Kiddies and kitties

Bring the kids and the pets, as the Barking Dog Cafe hosts a fundraiser today for Cats Haven animal shelter.

Sales of the book The Christmas of the Bows by local author Molly Hanchey and photos with Mrs. Claus will be donated to Cats Haven, a no-kill shelter in Indianapolis.

The festive fundraiser takes place from 4–7 p.m. at Barking Dog Cafe located at 114 E. 49th St.

For more information, go to or contact Katherine Kidd (Mrs. Claus) at 317-828-0167.

Ethics reform efforts

Are Indiana politicians immune from scandal? Do our lobbying disclosure and legislative ethics laws protect the public interest, or enable private concerns to mold state policy for their benefit?

Those wanting to ponder the answers to these questions are invited to join the discussion on “Public Trust, Private Interests: Lobbying Reform and Legislative Ethics in Indiana” hosted by Common Cause of Indiana.

This lunchtime seminar will take place on Friday, Dec. 5, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Atrium of the IU Law School-Indianapolis.

The keynote speaker will be Common Cause President Bob Edgar.

Panelists include former legislator Dr. David Orentlicher, former Indiana Secretary of State Joe Hogsett and Indianapolis attorney Paul Ogden. The discussion will be moderated by Indianapolis radio host Abdul Hakim-Shabazz.

Reserve your space today for this lively discussion!

For more information, please contact Common Cause at 317-254-0286.

New digs for IRC

The Indiana Recycling Coalition (IRC) hosts an open house in celebration of its 19th anniversary this Friday, Dec. 5.

Celebrating nearly two decades of serving as Indiana’s voice for recycling and sustainability, IRC has recently moved to new offices within the Indiana Humanities Council building at 1500 N. Delaware St., just north of downtown Indianapolis.

The open house takes place from 5– 8 p.m., with brief comments at 6:30 p.m. Food and drinks will be served and singer-songwriter Sarah Grain will perform.

For more information, contact IRC Executive Director Carey Hamilton at

See story on page 8 for more on the IRC.

Fair trade festival

The city of Bloomington’s first “green” holiday festival — the Fair and Green Gift Festival — takes place this Saturday, Dec. 6 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in Allison-Jukebox Community Center at 351 S. Washington St.

For the past three years, Fair Trade Bloomington — a nonprofit organization created by IU’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) group — has hosted holiday sales featuring fair trade goods such as handmade jewelry, holiday ornaments, baskets, carvings, tableware, textiles and toys. This is the first year the sale will include green products, a move that organizer Mary Embry and students involved with Fair Trade Bloomington hope will inspire greater participation and attendance — as well as heighten awareness of fair trade and green products.

“Hopefully, the festival will be of enough interest that we see more and more green vendors in the future,” said Embry, who also is in the process of finding a storefront for Bloomington’s first-ever fair trade store, which is expected to open in the fall of 2009.

Many of the fair trade products will come from 10,000 Villages, a major wholesaler in the United States with products coming from more than 120 artisan groups in more than 30 countries. “They always try to find artisans in the deepest need,” said Embry. “And once you’re a supplier for 10,000 Villages, you’re always a supplier. There are assurances that you can build your business and your market will continue.”

Greening the Statehouse

Leading environmental organizations from around the state will present their legislative agendas this Saturday at Holliday Park.

The Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC) and four other of the state’s leading green organizations will meet with the public to present an overview of environmental legislative initiatives for 2009. The goal is to “turn the Statehouse green” by focusing on renewable energy, public transit, public health, green building and recycling.

Along with HEC, Indiana Recycling Coalition, Health by Design, Improving Kids’ Environment and the Indiana Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council have identified the key legislation and legislators of the upcoming session of the Indiana General Assembly.

The discussion is part of the Hoosier Environmental Council Policy Forum and Environmental Annual Meeting at the Holliday Park Nature Center, 6863 Spring Mill Road, from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Dec. 6.

For more information, visit the Web sites of Hoosier Environmental Council (, Health by Design (, Improving Kids’ Environment (, Indiana Recycling Coalition ( or U.S. Green Building Council – Indiana Chapter (

Really, really free market

Earth House hosts the Indy Really Really Free Market on Saturday, Dec. 20,  from 2:30-6 p.m. at 237 N. East St.

The event, which takes place the third Saturday of each month, is exactly what the name implies: a place of community and exchange where absolutely nothing is bought or sold. Instead, individuals bring items of use or services and offer them up with no strings attached and (even better) no price tag. If you have services you want to offer, items you want to pass along, or could use the services or items others have to pass along, the Really, Really Free Market is for you.  

For more information, go to

Music for a good cause

NUVO is proud to sponsor and help support a show at Melody Inn on Dec. 21 to raise money for the Turner family of Warren Township.

The show features BOOYAH ACHIEVED!, The Foster Portfolio and Air Sharks. Doors open at 8 p.m., show starts at 9 p.m.

Promoter Mike Boyles is behind the show. “My girlfriend is a fifth grade teacher at Liberty Park Elementary School in Warren Township,” Boyle explains. “One of her students, Abbi Turner, lost her father in the last couple of weeks. He was 30 and passed from cancer.” There are two other children in the family, and because of mounting medical expenses the family has lost their home as well.  

All the money from the door of this show is going toward giving Abbi and her family a Christmas this year. A minimum $5 donation is requested.

For more information on the show, go to

Winter market continues

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t still get fresh, local produce. The Indy Winter Farmers Market continues each Saturday throughout December at the corner of 25th and Central Avenue. from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The Winter Farmers Market will feature the best of Indiana’s winter food bounty direct from farmers, growers and producers; products available include winter greens, fruits, fresh and dried herbs and a host of other local, organic and sustainably-produced products.

For a full list of participating growers and producers, go to

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