EDUCATION AND LEARNING

COA’s Human Ecology Forum to Discuss Good Intentions, Disastrous Results

Posted Oct. 11, 2013, at 2:42 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 4:10 p.m. to 4:10 p.m.

Location: College of the Atlantic, McCormick Lecture Hall, 105 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, Maine

For more information: John Visvader; 207-288-5015; newsworthy.coa.edu/2013/10/good-intentions-disastrous-results-in-the-dr-congo/

BAR HARBOR, ME—On Tuesday, October 22, Laura Seay will talk to College of the Atlantic’s Human Ecology Forum about her research, Good Intentions, Disastrous Results: Conflict Minerals & US Advocacy in the DR Congo. The discussion will begin at 4:10 pm in the McCormick Lecture Hall.

Seay’s presentation will look at how US-based advocacy groups hatched a plan to hold multinational corporations accountable for not using minerals mined or taxed by armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and how Congress quickly responded by passing a law to do just that. Members of Congress believed that this law, section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act, would reduce violence in the region by cutting off a key source of financing for armed groups who are well-known for terrorizing civilians, raping tens of thousands of women and girls, and looting desperately poor villages. Three years later, the legislation is still being implemented, but a series of unforeseen consequences have proved advocates and Congress wrong. Not only did cutting off mining revenue not get armed groups to stop fighting, but many Congolese civilians are worse off economically than they were before 1502, and insecurity is the highest it has been in a decade. This talk will explore how 1502 came to be passed and implemented and the consequences of the legislation, and propose guidelines for ethical intervention in Africa to ensure that good intentions have positive results for communities affected by violence.

Seay is Assistant Professor of Government at Colby College. Seay’s research addresses community and international responses to state fragility in central Africa, and her work has appeared in the Review of African Political Economy, the Journal of Modern African Studies, and L’Afrique des Grands Lacs: Annuaire. She also contributes to Foreign Policy and The Atlantic online.

For more information about the talk, please contact John Visvader at jvisvader@coa.edu or 207-288-5015.

About College of the Atlantic

College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning—human ecology—that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more, visit www.coa.edu.

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DISCUSSION: Tuesday, October 22 at 4:10 pm Laura Seay will talk to College of the Atlantic’s Human Ecology Forum about her research, Good Intentions, Disastrous Results: Conflict Minerals & US Advocacy in the DR Congo. College of the Atlantic, McCormick Lecture Hall, 105 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, ME. jvisvader@coa.edu or 207-288-5015. www.coa.edu.

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