Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Your iPad, What an Atrocity!

I recently did a 5K Benefit run on June 11th, my first benefit run of any kind. I had a strong urge to wake up at 7:30 AM, much earlier than I normally would on a Saturday morning and drive with my fellow homies to Wheeler Farm. Okay, that's pretty impressive in itself, because I HATE waking up past 11 AM, especially on a weekend! But I was too stoked to sleep in! The 5K run was for a cause that's pretty powerful to me. And my lack of sleep turned out to be worthwhile.

My home-skillets and me! Picture thanks to Natalie Cole.

The race was for spreading awareness and encouraged donations for a very dire human rights violation that is happening right now. 100% of the donations went to Women for Women International. This "Run For Congo Women 5K" was held by Utah for Congo. According to the Utah for Congo blog in May, a study was released by Journal of Public Health that in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), 1,150 women are raped daily on average. "That comes out to 4 women raped every 5 minutes. We are talking about 2 million people here."

These rape victims are in the middle of war and conflict in the DRC, and this involves battle with conflict minerals that piece together our cellphones and computers, which affects us more than we can ignore. According to the project, Raise Hope For Congo These conflicts over power and minerals involve rape on a large scale.
For more than a century, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been plagued by regional conflict and a deadly scramble for its vast natural resources. . . In eastern Congo today, these mineral resources are financing multiple armed groups, many of whom use mass rape as a deliberate strategy to intimidate and control local populations.
Basically, rape may be used for a tool of power to gain more resources.

Since these conflict minerals are connected to the atrocities in the DRC, I believe that there needs to be more awareness about whether our cellphones, iPods, and computers are conflict free, or not. More "transparent" minerals is a term frequently used about this topic. However, this issue is complicated, and I don't fully understand the whole of it. I'm fairly new to the human rights advocate world, but I'm simply stating what I believe is important. As a woman, if I were to go to the DRC myself, not only would I witness the horrors, but surely I'd experience it first-hand. It's a scary truth. I can't just turn a blind eye on it. That's enough to send my energy to women, my sisters, to a place across the ocean.

The Utah for Congo 5K run was a success, and they were able to gather over $2,000 in donations! I'd like to host my own event like this someday. =)


  1. Good deal Mckenna. I love your efforts.Rape is a bad thing to contemplate and worse thing to experience (I know).

  2. '4 women raped every 5 minutes' This really breaks my heart. I work with these women, and women like them, on a daily basis. Their strength and resiliency is inspiring. Thanks for writing on this important topic!

  3. I'm sorry I've only now stumbled on this blog post! I need to keep up on them :) Excellent post McKenna, and the run was a lot of fun. I'm hoping to see you guys Sunday at the lake of bears.