Congo in Our Minds
Congo in our Minds was an initiative of the Gender Working Group at Brandeis to foster student and community activism, build effective collaborations, and diversify advocacy approaches to the humanitarian crisis and sexual violence resulting from the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The project's goal was to increase awareness of the situation in the eastern Congo through a network of advocacy campaigns across Brandeis and to connect this network with national and international NGOs, coalitions, and grassroots initiatives in the Congo.
Final Update (February 2009): The Gender Working Group made progess on the following agenda items:
- Held strategy meetings to discuss campaign strategies with student members and Congolese activists
- Presentations at STAND regional conferences and worked with STAND and Harvard Humanitarian Initiative on programming
- Attended the Congo Global Action national conference in Washington, DC
- Expanded the Congo initiative by inviting members of STAND Brandeis, Feminist Majority League Association of Brandeis, individual Congolese activitists in the Massachusetts area, and NGOs based in the US and working in Congo
- Facilitated a meeting of Congolese NGOs and activists in the US to provide a platform for building a working group that can voice the needs and concerns of grassroots NGOs and activists to broader international coalitions.
- Participated in an advance screening of the film The Greatest Silence sponsored by Film Studies and the Wasserman Fund, and hosted another focused screening of the film at the Heller School with related discussion about the Congo situation.
- Collected signatures for a petition in support of U.S. legislative action to end illegal resource exploitation in the DRC at various events.
- Presented at Phillips Academy, Andover, at a joint event hosted by their STAND chapter, Amnesty chapter, Ethics Committee, and African Forum.
This project is now complete.
Prof. Kelley Ready, Programs in Sustainable International Development(SID)/Gender Working Group
Urjasi Rudra, MA Candidate, SID
Charlie Kabanga, MA Candidate, SID
Members of the Gender Working Group, Heller School