Superbowl MVP and Enough celebrity upstander Aaron Rodgers wants you to join him on the field before his December 8th Monday Night Football game against the Atlanta Falcons. It only costs $10 to enter, and the funds benefit Enough’s Raise Hope for Congo Campaign.
The opportunity follows an October 2013 rally for Congo led by Rodgers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Thousands of students flocked to see him hit the stage, where he called on the power of student activism to help support an end to the conflict in Congo by addressing the issue of conflict minerals in their school's technology.
Rodgers was at UW-Madison in support of the school's Conflict-Free Campus Initiative (CFCI) chapter. Students there have called on their administration to join the growing number of schools that have passed procurement policies favoring companies that are working to become conflict-free and source their minerals responsibly from Congo.
At the rally, Rodgers emphasized the connection between the minerals in our electronics and the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and told students that they have an opportunity to break this link by joining conflict-free initiatives like CFCI. He was joined on stage by Congolese NFL rookie and Packers teammate Andy Mulumba, Entourage actress Emmanuelle Chriqui, and Congolese musician and activist Omekongo Dibinga. The renowned celebrity presence drew national attention both to UW-Madison specifically, and the need for broader conflict minerals reform nationally and even around the world.
More than 150 schools in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada have participated in CFCI since its inception. Together with their administrations, students have passed 17 procurement resolutions, with dozens more student government resolutions, on-campus events, and social media campaigns. Several cities and states have also joined the movement.
The city of Madison passed a conflict-free resolution in December 2013. Despite widespread attention on the rally, however, the UW-Madison administration has still not agreed to pass a schoolwide resolution.
Reflecting on how he got involved with the conflict-free from Congo movement, Rodgers stated, “I thought about how my legacy was going to be remembered here. I remember sitting on the bus after we won [the 2011 Super Bowl] in Dallas and thinking to myself, ‘I’m on top of the world,’ we just accomplished the most amazing goal in football. But I’m sitting here with a semi-empty feeling. I had a moment. I said to myself — ‘is this it? Is there more to life than this?’ And the answer was resoundingly yes.”