Tools for Advocacy

A friend asked me yesterday what I think the answer is to the conflict in Congo, following my post earlier this week. I don’t claim to know, I admitted, but that’s what our elected officials are for, no?

Then I thought, maybe it’s time to put all the tools in one place.

I may not know “the answer” to Congo – but the reality is that no one really does. What I do know is that the government acts when Americans demand it. Darfur is the perfect example. The help came too late but it came when Americans rallied for a change.

So, I will make this easy. Below is a short letter you can copy and paste in an email to your senator, representative, or the president. I also included links to each for a contact form. Particular senators of importance: John Kerry, Richard Lugar, Barbara Boxer, and Richard Durbin.

Dear [elected official]:

I am appalled at the conflict in Congo that has killed 5.4 million people over the two past decades and continues to shatter lives.  Extreme levels of violence have created a relentless cycle of poverty, fear and impunity.  Rape is a tactic of choice for almost every armed group; new reports estimate that one woman is raped every minute.  Few of the perpetrators are held accountable.

I believe that your role as [title] places you in a strong position to take a stance against this violence and work with the United Nations and Congolese government to put an end to this once and for all. Here is what we need:

An End to Impunity. The reasons Congo is not on the American government’s radar are beyond my understanding. But this must stop. Work with the United Nations and address the conflict head on. We need someone to take the lead on the international stage, now more than ever.

Concrete Action. Press the Congolese government to take concrete action against these crimes. Take action to ensure that those who commit these atrocities are brought to justice in a Congolese or international tribunal. We must stop sending the message that these crimes will go unpunished.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Contacts:

To contact your Senator click here.

To contact your Congressperson click here.

To write to President Obama click here.

The women of Congo thank you.

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