This post was written by guest blogger and UNC-Chapel Hill student Danielle Allyn.
In the Kiswahili language, spoken by many in eastern Congo, methali (proverbs) play an important role in society. One such proverb reads Penye nia pana njia or, “Where there is a will, there is a way.”
On October 7, Green Bay Packers Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers partnered with the Enough Project’s Raise Hope for Congo for a rally attended by thousands of students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The conflict-free movement is gaining momentum worldwide, with the newest development happening in Canada. In March 2013, New Democrat Foreign Affairs Critic Paul Dewar introduced a comprehensive conflict-free mineral bill to the Canadian Parliament. Bill C-486 requires companies to regularly report how they obtain their supply of minerals such as gold, tin, tungsten, and tantalum from Central Africa, particularly Congo.
Not only do universities educate students on issues of social justice, but they also serve as venues for students to organize around these issues and generate substantive change in society. Today, student leaders at Brown, Dartmouth, and Yale are seizing their opportunity to stimulate change by releasing a joint statement calling for responsible investment policies in relation to conflict minerals sourced from eastern Congo.
Today the Raise Hope for Congo campaign released a new campaign video, “Conflict Gold 101.” The video outlines the details of Congo’s conflict gold trade and puts the spotlight on jewelry companies who can play a role in reforming this deadly trade.
Editor's Note: Student leader Bennett Collins spearheaded the St Andrews University chapter of Raise Hope for Congo's Conflict-Free Campus Initiative. In this guest post he reflects on the past year of action.
Despite the news this week that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers have filed a lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission over the conflict minerals regulation, both companies and activists continue to fight for progress.