By Krista DeJulio – Features Editor
The annual International Banquet was hosted this year by the Lasell College International Club this month. The purpose of this year’s banquet was to raise awareness of the injustice that is currently happening in the Congo.
The International Club is trying to raise awareness on the minerals being naturally produced in the Congo. These minerals are being taken from the area and in the midst of the extraction of the minerals, women and children are being murdered for the resources.
Father Willy, a Jesuit priest who works for Boston College and hails from the Congo, spoke to a crowded deWitt Hall during the banquet about the daily struggles happening in the Congo that many Americans do not know about.
Father Willy first asked who in the room owned a cell phone and everyone raised their hand. He went on to talk about the minerals known as Colton and Tangelium which are being used in everyday electronics such as cell phones, video games, and laptops that citizens in the Congo are being murdered for.
“The Congo is a rich country with very poor people,” said Father Willy. At the end of Father Willy’s speech he proposed a solution. “We have to identify the companies [that are] exploiting the minerals in the Congo. Cell phones have blood if we don’t stop them.”
Next to speak was Boston University student and activist Garrett Moore, who started the organization Boston for Congo. It was Moore who encouraged a group of Lasell students to participate in a lobby at the Massachusetts State House last month to rally for Massachusetts to reveal minerals used in electronics (see full story on page 3).
Entertainment included a traditional Bollywood dance from sophomore Christine Francis, Lasell Spartones singing an a capella version of David Guetta’s “Titanium,” a performance from Divine Step Team, and an international fashion show closed the event. The fashion show included gowns and saris from all over the world, including Indonesia and India.
“What we want everyone to get is the audacity that is happening today in the Congo. Cell phones, laptops, video games with minerals coming from my country,” said Eva Katana, Co-president of the International Club. “Americans don’t understand and know. These companies know where the minerals are coming from but it’s all about the business.”