JD Stier's blog


JD Stier is the Raise Hope for Congo Campaign Manager. He has over a decade of experience with campaign and community organizing, advocacy, and politics. JD has advised and co-founded numerous organizations with missions focused on improving the lives of those living in Congo, Uganda, and the Sudans. JD most recently served at the White House with the Obama Administration and worked on the 2008 Obama presidential campaign. Under JD's leadership, the Raise Hope for Congo campaign has released the documentary series I Am Congo, Company Rankings, and led the growth of Conflict-Free Campus Initiative to over 100 active schools. The campaign continues to close gaps towards conflict minerals certification while addressing the immediate security needs in eastern Congo.


This Valentine's Day, Say Yes to Congo

Three Little Words . . . Congo Conflict Free

Here we are again, that time of year where love is officially celebrated between family, friends, lovers, crushes and colleagues. Valentine's Day. Honestly, we both look forward to this holiday. What's not to love? Valentine's Day is the holiday for love, but the gold so many people give each other as a symbol of their love may be fueling violent conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The silver lining: we can do quite a bit as consumers to help our jewelry companies address conflict gold.  Read More »

Politico Op-Ed: U.S. must act on Congo now

The petition was delivered to the White House in January. | Donovan Slack/POLITI

This op-ed originally appeared on Politico.

On March 18, one of the world’s worst warlords, Bosco Ntaganda, turned himself in to the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda. Ntaganda, also known as “The Terminator,” is the leader of several brutal armed groups and army units, including the M23, that have terrorized eastern Congo for over a decade. He is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity.  Read More »

Congo Activists Deliver Petition for U.S. Presidential Envoy to the White House

When the M23 rebel group seized the city of Goma in eastern Congo last November, a coalition of activists sprang into action. Activists began calling for a U.S. presidential envoy to work with leaders and stakeholders from the region to address the urgent security needs.   Read More »

Dear President Obama: Congo Needs You Now, Will You Respond?

President Obama speaks at the United Nations headquarters in New York

As we were making our way home to be with family and friends this Thanksgiving, the M23 rebel group backed by Rwanda and Uganda stormed and seized Goma, one of the largest cities in eastern Congo. This is the first time since 2004, at the height of Congo's conflict, that rebels have occupied the city of Goma. A week has gone by, but the U.S. media and government have barely acknowledged this escalating crisis.  Read More »

Making Activism Local

As the Raise Hope for Congo campaign manager, I have traveled from Los Angeles, to Athens, OH, to New York City, and to Durham, NC to engage with students as they fight for human rights on their campuses. Last month I returned to my hometown and to my alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Read More »

Actor Robin Wright in HuffPo Oped: Congolese Women Stitching a Community Back Together

As documented in a new report from the Enough Project, which ranks electronics firms on their progress in cleaning up their supply chains of conflict minerals, there are glimmers of hope for eastern Congo despite ongoing violence there, which is driven partly by conflict minerals. When we visited Congo late last year, we met activist Amani Matabaro when we first arrived in Bukavu, South Kivu province. His story, his work, and his passion were featured as part of Raise Hope for Congo's video series "I Am Congo."  Read More »

The Most ‘Insanely Great’ – But Missing – iPad Feature Ever

On March 7, Apple announces the highly anticipated iPad 3. With many exciting new features, the device could reinvent how we think about and interact with our world. But it’s not all that it could and should be. This piece co-authored with actress and activist Emmanuelle Chriqui originally appeared on the homepage of Huffington Post.  Read More »

Apple: Think Conflict-Free

The conflict-free movement sweeping the nation was on full display inside New York City’s Grand Central Station at the opening of the Apple store on December 9. Activists inspired by Congolese human rights activist Delly Mawazo Sesete’s petition on Change.org targeting Apple CEO Tim Cook—which has already gained more than 27,000 signatures—gathered to rally in support of Apple’s continued role as an industry leader, and to encourage the company to create the world's first conflict-free product sourcing clean minerals from the Congo.  Read More »

Memorializing Victims of Congo Atrocities with One Million Bones

Earlier this fall, I connected with the volunteers and staff from the One Million Bones project in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The project, a collaborative art installation, is intended to create a visible movement to increase global awareness of the ongoing atrocities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and Burma. One Million Bones asks people around the globe to create and submit their handmade bones to raise awareness of these conflicts, and suggests a small donation that will benefit three organizations that provide advocacy and direct services on the ground—one of which is Raise Hope for Congo.  Read More »

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