At 4pm, John Katunga and Marian College will host a discussion about Congo's Blood Coltan. Please come early and join us.
April 16 we have a great chance to talk about an idea that came up at the ISI seminar: a multi-institutional project on Congo and coltan. That evening John Katunga, head of Catholic Relief Service's Nairobi office, will give a talk at Marian college about the Kenyan crisis. As you can probably tell from his name, Katunga is Congolese, and in an earlier incarnation has done work on the global coltan industry: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/topics/pubs/Katunga12.pdf
Marian is willing to host a discussion with anyone who'd like to work on some sort of initiative to do something about coltan and the damage its mining is imposing on Congo, whether fueling the civil wars or wrecking scarce habitat for gorillas and other species. This could be a great project for high schools to take a lead on: it could combine geology and geography, chemistry and international relations, business and environmental sciences. As advisers and participants we could get colleges like Marian (they like the idea of working on geo-moral issues), the Zoo (the Phoenix Zoo has a project to recycle cell phones to protect gorillas in Congo: http://www.phoenixzoo.org/support/help/recycle_your_cellphone.shtml ... Thanks.
This has the potential to become one of those most rare of initiatives, one that is both original and important.
On April 16 around 4:00 we'd like to invite everyone who might like to be involved in an initiative on coltan and Congo to come to Marian for an informal discussion with Katunga and the beginning of brainstorming about what might be done in Indianapolis.
If you have any suggesitons about who should be invited please let me know. At this stage we should cast our net as widely as possible. This includes students who'd like to participate ... Even if no grand coltan project ends up being launched, getting a chance for an informal discussion with someone like John Katunga will be a great experience.
I've attached Katunga's bio. For more about his talk on Kenya the evening of April 16, see http://www.provocate.org/archives/572.