Thank You, African Students Association & South Dakota State University!

16640678_1209850562386164_3709982696404962511_n           L to R: Dr. Nacasius Ujah, Confiance Mfuka, Dr. Lee Ann De Reus, Godfrey Havyarimana, Sefa Adekpui (photo credit: Enoch Banza)

It was a true pleasure to visit South Dakota State University and give the keynote address, Daring to Make a Difference for DR Congo – and Beyond for the “Women’s Challenges and Opportunities in a Complex Political Situation” event hosted by the African Students Association. A special thank you to Dr. Nacasius Ujah, Dr. Emmanuel Byamukama, Confiance Mfuka, Godfrey Havyarimana and Sefa Adekupi for organizing the conference and the opportunity to interact with students and the local Congolese community. I enjoyed our stimulating and in-depth discussions about the DR Congo, Panzi Foundation USA, the work of Dr. Denis Mukwege at Panzi Hospital, and my own research about the resilience of Congolese women. I look forward to continuing the conversation and our future collaborations! img_6399                                                               (photo credit: Enoch Banza)

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Brilliant Minds for Desperate Times

“The country is being played,” wrote a friend in a recent email. I would add that people’s pain is being exploited by the purveyors of neoliberalism. How do we understand where we are and ways forward? For astute critical analysis, perspective, and direction during these dire times, I read the following journalists/authors among others:

Amy Goodman at @democracynow: www.democracynow.org                              @NaomiAKlein a Canadian author and columnist: www.naomiklein.org/main           @jbouie at Slate & CBS: www.slate.com/authors.jamelle_bouie.html
@CharlesMBlow at the NYT: www.nytimes.com/column/charles-m-blow
@tanehisicoates at The Atlantic: www.theatlantic.com/author/ta-nehisi-coates/

No false hope or solace peddled by these authors. Instead, their hard-hitting writing further exposes structural violence and the injustices that jeopardize us all. At this moment, four days from the next President’s inauguration, I am not optimistic about our future. But I refuse to be a bystander with so much at stake. Read, resist, reclaim.

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