More than 1,000 expected at int'l summit on conflict-free minerals

More than 1,000 people from around the globe will travel to Clark University on September 24th to participate in an international summit on Informed Activism: Scarce Resources, Armed Conflict and Congo.  Convened by the University’s Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, in partnership with Los Angeles based Jewish World Watch, the summit will shine a bright light on the conflict minerals trade, mass violence in Congo, and its effects on local populations and global consumers alike.  The minerals fueling this conflict end up in popular electronics products such as cell phones, MP3 players, game consoles and laptops, and thus connect consumers to the conflict there.

The summit has garnered unprecedented attention. Students from nearly 40 colleges and universities (including Harvard, Duke, Georgetown, Penn, and Yale), directors and aid workers from 32 non-governmental organizations that work on the ground in Africa, representatives from the U.S. State Department, policy makers, and leading experts will examine the problem of scarce resources and conflict in Africa – and solutions to the problem.

← Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies   Director Debórah Dwork, right, and Mikaela Luttrell-Rowland, Academic Program Liaison Officer, appeared on FOXnews.com LIVE in New York City (Sept. 12) to talk about the “Informed Activism” summit at Clark.               * Watch on YouTube. *

“Our aim is to increase public awareness about the violence happening every day on the ground in Congo, the systematic use of rape as a weapon to control whole communities, and what role the United States and its citizens should, and must, play as consumers,” said Debórah Dwork, Director of the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University.

“The outpouring of interest reflects student demand to be informed consumers and responsible world citizens,” said Dr. Mikaela Luttrell-Rowland, convener of the summit and Academic Program Officer at the Strassler Center.

Conflict minerals from Congo have been increasingly on the radar of many activists because the  multi-million dollar trade helps fund armed militia groups embroiled in a decade-long conflict that has left millions of Africans dead.  The summit will feature Congolese leaders including the keynote speaker, Knights International Journalism Award recipient Chouchou Namegabe, whose work addresses the link between conflict minerals and sexual violence.

The event is free and open to the public and members of the press.  Visit www.clarku.edu/informedactivism for more information.

Since its founding in 1887, Clark University in Worcester, Mass., has a history of challenging convention. As an innovative liberal arts college and research university, Clark’s world-class faculty leads a community of creative thinkers and passionate doers and offers a range of expertise. Clark is nationally recognized in the areas of psychology, geography, management, urban education, Holocaust and genocide studies, environmental studies, and international development and social change. Clark’s students, faculty and alumni embody the Clark motto: Challenge convention. Change our world. www.clarku.edu