By Hillary Donnell
It is difficult for people to comprehend the impact their purchases can make. People purchase phones to stay connected and computers to get work done at home, not to further inhumane labor practices or support war.
However, this is exactly what happens. Many companies, especially those that produce electronic devices, use conflict minerals in their products. Conflict minerals, such as tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold, are mined in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo and are often purchased by companies for a wide variety of consumer products.
Many of these mines have been taken over by armed groups who use the profits to perpetuate violence in the region. The war in eastern Congo has been going on since the early 1990s, the Enough Project reports, resulting in over 5.4 million dead and more than 2 million displaced individuals.
Communications 269: Globalization on a Shoestring is dedicated to spreading awareness on the conflict in eastern Congo.
On Thursday, March 19 from 12:30 to 2 p.m., the Globalization students will be running an event in the Fens Cafe to spread awareness of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The class will be broadcasting this event live on The Shark (formerly Simmons College Radio) starting at 1 p.m. Anyone who comes to this event will have their devices rated using the criteria developed by the Enough Project.
It is not shameful to own a device produced by a company with a bad history, as this information is not commonly known. Both companies and individual consumers are trying to develop more informed purchasing habits. Everyone is learning and it is time to put our knowledge to good use.