Ibutwa in the Land Of The Long White Cloud

Conflict Minerals

A phrase- 5 syllables

Tin, Tungsten, Coltan & Gold

Precious Earth minerals that come at a cost untold

Blood, sweat and tears

Plaguing the mining industry for years

I dream of a #ConflictFreeSociety

Purchasing with integrity

Preservation of biodiversity

Morality within the global community

Tabling on the North campus at AUT university in New Zealand was empowering for a number of students and staff members. To my surprise, not one person who stopped by our table had ever heard of the term “conflict minerals”. This experience helped me remember that this issue is still largely unknown by the public.The horror that came across the faces of many as they learned that the DRC is the rape capital of the world did spark momentum for students to question us more about how to start a conflict free campaign at AUT. I hope the information that Samantha Segalas-Shaw, Mackenzie Jones and I shared was enough for them to inspire their friends to help expand this consumer led movement.

Displacement is happening to people across the world. As I study abroad at the Auckland University of Technology, I have learned about the history of Maori culture. There are many similarities between these two societies, in regards to how foreign countries have exploited resources in these resource rich regions. Time after time, greed and exploitative measures have been taken in the name of profitability. This trend must end! As the winds of change shake the global community, I know I am not the only one who feels that the world needs a healing remedy. Millions of people have lost their native lands due to conflicting interests of outside nations. Far too many have lost their lives in Aotearoa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Compassionate communication and perseverance is needed now more than ever in order to rebirth connection amongst humanity. By firstly acknowledging the injustices that have been repeated on these lands, society can join forces to reconcile and reform. However, positive change can not happen until the public is concerned enough. Contributing to the conflict free movement is an act of solidarity with all the groups of people who have been taken advantage of in the name of money. The essence of the #ConflictFreeSociety movement was inspired by the positive ripple effects that The Vermont Ibutwa Initiative had on my personal life. For the first time, I was prompted to talk about consent on college campuses. The conversations about sexuality as a whole need to be revisited, as a topic this taboo is relevant in all of our lives. Sex is sold in advertising on the daily basis and as you probably know, considering you are reading this blog post, sexual violence is an insidious aspect of the growth of the electronic industry. This complex issue is quite literally in our hands, not only because we use our electronics on a daily basis, but also because it is up to YOU to amplify the energy of this plight for equality.

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