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The Chocolate Revolution will be live, at Babeville

Here's a sobering statistic: The U.S. Department of State estimates that more than 109,000 children in Cote d’Ivoire (a leading supplier of cocoa) work under terrible conditions, and that some 10,000 are victims of human trafficking or enslavement.

So to raise awareness and put the wheels of change in motion, Ani DiFranco will join forces with a variety of local artists, musicians, and business owners on February 12 to host the first ever Chocolate Revolution at Babeville's Ninth Ward.

Headlining the event is New York City  folk rock duo Left on Red, a much buzzed-about group who made a memorable appearance at the Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Other contributors to the show include Michael Meldrum (scheduled to appear with Mary Ramsey of 10,000 Maniacs), Joe Donahue, and poet Jimmie Gilliam.

For only $8 in advance or $10 at the door guests will be treated to a cup of fair trade hot cocoa as well as chocolate samples.

“The purpose of having this chocolate for people to try is to promote fair trade chocolate during a time where many are buying it for their significant others, friends, coworkers, etc.,” says Left On Red's Kelly Halloran. “There are many benefits of buying fair trade chocolate. The most obvious is that you're making a purchase which, as noted by the fair trade label, is helping farmers receive fair wages for the work they are doing. A number of major chocolate companies source cocoa from parts of Africa that exploit and actually traffic children into working under terrible conditions for unfair—if any—wages.”

Check out sites such as www.globalexchange.com, www.chocolatebar.com, www.greenandblacks.com, and www.divinechocolateusa.com to  satisfy your need for a sweet fix or for a great Valentine’s Day gift. And for more information on this event write to leftonredmusic@gmail.com or visit www.leftonredmusic.com.

Tickets for Chocolate Revolution can be purchased through tickets.com, at local Tops markets, or at the Babeville box office. Of note: the event is free for children and the unemployed.

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