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Is Your Campus Fueling Conflict In The Congo?

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Is Your Campus Fueling Conflict In The Congo?

Posted by Enough Team on September 30, 2011

Cross-posted from MTV Act.

Apple, Microsoft, Dell, Nintendo, HDC — the students have spoken: You'd better clean up your act.

Back when "Drive"/"Ides of March" dreamboat Ryan Gosling asked Americans to back a boycott against conflict minerals, many of us wanted to help, but weren't quite ready to throw our iPhones and laptops in a landfill. Then along came Raise Hope For Congo with a brilliant idea to go big.

The Conflict-Free Campus Initiative asks students to demand that their schools stop investing in electronics powered by "conflict minerals" — ie: tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold mined in the Congo. Sales of these natural resources help armed groups in Congo buy weapons, which in turn perpetuate unrest in a country where 45,000 civilians die every month, where 5 million have died since the conflict began and where rape and violence against women are used as catastrophic tools of war. It seems absurd that U.S. schools would continue to stock their libraries with technology contributing to devastation, but, well, until people start really making noise, who's to stop them?

That's where you come in. You can make your campus conflict-free, sending a message not just to your school, but to tech companies who rely on big sales to big institutions. If enough consumers put their feet down, eventually supply and demand will demand alternate mineral sourcing. There are already over 50 campuses involved, including Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania. Are you ready for your school to clean up its act? Here's how:

  1.     Watch the video above to hear from other student activists
  2.     Learn more about the campaign
  3.     Map your resolution
  4.     Browse the resource guides
  5.     DO IT: Use this Conflict-Free Campus Advocacy Guide to put your ideals into action


Let's put electronics companies in their place—and be a part of bringing peace to the Congo.

This post by Caroline Walker originally appeared on MTV Act.