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Jim Keady to Speak on Sweatshops and Social Justice

Jim Keady to Speak on Sweatshops and Social Justice

Alfred State College will welcome Jim Keady, who will speak on sweatshops and social justice, Thursday, Feb. 24, at 8 p.m. in the Orvis Auditorium on the Alfred campus. This event is open to the public free of charge.

Keady’s presentation, “Behind the Swoosh: Sweatshops and Social Justice,” recounts his experience of spending one month in an Indonesian slum living with Nike factory workers on $1.25 per day, a typical wage, and his decades-long effort to end sweatshop abuses. He will also show audience members what they can do to get involved and join this fight for justice.

Sponsored by Alfred State’s Kaleidoscope Coalition (login required), Keady’s appearance will feature an interactive multi-media presentation including slides, role-playing, and powerful video footage. Along with personal accounts, the presentation includes the latest information on Nike's horrible labor and environmental practices and challenges the audience to deal in human terms with the women, men, and sometimes children, who are the foundation of global manufacturing.

Keady is an educator, activist, theologian, filmmaker, writer, and athlete. He is the director of Educating for Justice, Inc., a NJ-based nonprofit company that educates and organizes citizens to promote peace and justice in the world. For the past 12 years, Keady has focused much of his time and energy on improving the living and working conditions for Nike’s overseas factory workers. His work has been featured on CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, HBO Sports, ESPN, the ABC, the BBC, NPR, WBAI, as well as in the NY Times, Newsday, Sports Illustrated, the Daily News, and countless other local radio programs and print outlets. Keady’s Nike accountability campaign, TEAM SWEAT, can be found at www.teamsweat.org and he can be reached by e-mail: jim@educatingforjustice.org.

Keady holds a master’s degree with distinction in theology from St. John's University (NYC) where he concentrated his studies in social ethics and pastoral theology. Keady also coached St. John’s men’s soccer team, at the time, the NCAA Division One National Champions. He was eventually forced to resign from his job because he refused to wear and promote Nike's products as part of the school's $3.5 million dollar endorsement deal with the sportswear giant.

Prior to his work with EFJ, Keady taught high school religion for five years at schools in New York and New Jersey. He also played and coached soccer at the youth, high school, college, and professional levels. Jim has also been involved in electoral politics and from 2005-08 served as a councilman in the City of Asbury Park, NJ. He has spent time traveling the globe and doing volunteer work in Asia and Europe with Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity. In addition to his graduate degree from St. John's, he holds a bachelor of science degree in psychology from St. Joseph's University.

In 2001, the Mario Savio Foundation (CA) recognized and honored Jim's work for justice, naming him the “Young Activist of the Year.” Jim is currently producing a feature length independent documentary film and writing a book, both titled, SWEAT, which will detail his decade-long work of advocacy on behalf of Nike's overseas workers.

“This is an excellent opportunity for students interested in corporate social responsibility, business ethics, global leadership, social justice, civic engagement, and activism,” says Ashley Kehoe, director, of kehoeal@alfredstate.edu or phone: (607) 587-4077.