Award-winning photojournalist Marcus Bleasdale speaks to the role photography plays in bearing witness, bringing awareness and leading to action against to human rights abuses. His latest work "The Price of Precious" in National Geographic magazine's 125th Anniversary Collector’s Edition "Photography Issue," explores the role conflict minerals play in the violence in eastern Congo. Bleasdale photographed a rebel-controlled gold mine, and Nyabibwe, a conflict-free tin mine, both on the eastern edge of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Read More »
The Madison City Council in Wisconsin passed a resolution earlier this week symbolically declaring the city conflict free. The resolution comes after nearly two years of a growing student movement at University of Wisconsin-Madison that campaigned the city and University to denounce the use of minerals that fuel violence and change their electronics purchasing practices to favor verifiable conflict-free products.
Last month, student activists in Madison, WI seized energy from a rally for a conflict-free Congo with Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and celebrity activist Emmanuelle Chriqui. Their hard work was realized on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 when City Council leaders unanimously approved a city resolution (RES-13-00898).
Over the past several years, student activists throughout the U.S. have been working with theConflict-Free Campus Initiative, a student-led initiative that is active on 150 campuses across the country and abroad, to pass resolutions through campus administrations. Resolutions have been passed on 16 campuses, including Duke and Stanford, and in state-wide legislation in California and Maryland. Madison joins other cities such as Pittsburgh, PA, St. Petersburg, FL, and Edina, MN who have passed similar resolutions.
The Enough Project’s Raise Hope for Congo campaign, an initiative of the anti-genocide group in Washington, commended the city’s leadership.
Raise Hope for Congo Campaign Manager JD Stier said:
"Wisconsin is home to U.S. Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region, Russ Feingold as well as Congo activist Aaron Rodgers, placing Madison at the forefront of the human rights movement for peace in Congo. By leading the call to go conflict-free, Madison can inspire other cities across the nation to join the conflict-free movement."
The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.
In early October, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Independent National Electoral Commission, or INEC, declared the release of a roadmap for the 2013-2016 election cycle on November 8, 2013. Read More »