Blood in the Mobile

The past week was life-altering for me, and I would like to share my experience with you and ask that you take immediate action.

The good news is that I just spent a week filming at the 2012 San Francisco Green Film Festival. I watched several amazing films, including Emily James’ Just Do It, The Island President, and You’ve Been Trumped. I learned from every film I saw, and it was an incredible experience to interview filmmakers, volunteers, and audience members about their experiences at the San Francisco Green Film Festival. However, no film or event at the festival moved me more than Blood in the Mobile.

Blood In The Mobile

I did not want to see Blood in the Mobile because I knew it would upset me, and I was right. Not only did I cry in the arms of my French house guest, but I also had nightmares after seeing it. The film shows the chaotic and violent conditions in Congo and the suffering of the children and adults who mine the minerals necessary for electronic devices. Because military groups have taken so much control in Congo, miners pay to enter the mines and then must pay to leave. Because the price to leave is so high and their pay so low, they often cannot afford to leave, creating modern-day slavery.

I love my cell phone, my laptop, and my desktop, but I can’t stand the idea of being a hypocrite. After all, I have children, and I feel blessed they aren’t working in a mine. I feel so fortunate to have the lifestyle I have, and the disparity between what my children and I have and what the families living in Congo have is so great I had no choice but to take action.

After my sleepless night, I decided I would write a post about Congo, join groups dedicated to ending the use of conflict minerals, do a presentation on conflict minerals in a class I am taking on web production, and spread the word via my own social media channels.

We all have a voice. I hope you will join me in:

  1. Seeing Blood in the Mobile.
  2. Taking action by joining the Conflict Free Minerals group on LinkedIn.
  3. Taking action by joining RAISE Hope of Congo (or at least checking out their site).
  4. Finding out where your favorite electronics company stands on the issue and encourage them to do more. (I’ve already written Apple and look forward to getting a response.)
  5. Talking to your friends and colleagues to discover their feelings about the issue.

Key Takeaways

As a global community, we face many difficult issues, such as climate change. I know. But slavery doesn’t have to be one of them. Our voices as consumers will be enough to end, or at least provide an alternative to, conflict minerals, just as we now have certified diamonds in South Africa.

We can and will end the use of slave labor for our mobiles and electronics.

I’m very interested to know what you think about this issue. Please use the comments section below to make your voice heard.

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