Thursday, March 25, 2010

For the new folks (and the old)

Those of you who are joining NeoVox as a second quarter class know that we are working our collective behinds off trying to get ready for Scholars' Day. I would like to ask EVERYONE who is intending to show up for tomorrow's 1:30 meeting to brainstorm how they might be able to contribute to the presentation. Second-quarter students are going to be different work, but FOR RIGHT NOW, we need help, so I'm asking you to do this as a required assignment.

There are several tasks that need doing. For the writers, our primary task is to put together the brochure with information about what is going on in the DRC, the statistics about the numbers of women raped and the numbers of people who have been killed. We also need someone (maybe one of you science folks?) to do some research on conflict minerals. Coltan is the major conflict mineral that is being used to finance the war in the Congo, and we want to bring Cortland students' attention to the fact that our use of cell phones and computers may be inadvertently contributing to financing the war. We need a list of officials that people can write to. I would suggest the following: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice; President Kabila of the DRC; First Lady Michelle Obama. I have some templates of these letters from last year. We could consider putting together a postcard on the back of the brochure that folks could tear off and send to one of these officials. Can we brainstorm what we might like the postcard to look like? Should it have an image on it?
Finally, for those of you who are feeling moved by what you have been learning about the Congo are free to write prose/poems/ or any other type of art that not only expresses how you feel, but may also move students to action.
As Martine notes in her post, we are RUNNING OUT OF TIME. Please consider that this assignment--which you will tell me tomorrow what you're going to take on--needs to be in good shape by next Friday.
If you are one of the folks who cannot attend class on Friday, please e-mail Martine and I with your idea, and plan on e-mailing your assignment to both of us by next Friday.
My most recent blog post about the DRC can be found here:

Any questions? Contact me at Feel free to comment.

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