Guest Blog from Supporter Amanda Ulrich

I first learned about conflict minerals in the DRC when I read The Enough Moment by John Prendergast and Don Cheadle.  I’ve always had a large place in my heart for Darfur, and have been quite active in raising awareness about the genocide there.  For the past two years I felt like I wanted to do something, make a difference.  When I read about Lisa Shannon in The Enough Moment, something sparked in me, and I just knew I had found my way to make a difference.  Being that I live in Oregon, and work in Portland, I felt an immediate connection to Lisa Shannon, and was inspired by her tenacity.  So, after I finished reading The Enough Moment, I looked into Run for Congo Women, and planned a solo fundraiser which lasted from 9.19.11 – 10.28.11.  I walked/ran a total of 54 miles over 6 weeks, and collected $767 from my family, friends and coworkers.  I kept track of my progress over the 6 weeks, and went on a personal campaign blitz to educate everyone in my little bubble of the world about the cause. 

When I was in the middle of my solo fundraiser for Run For Congo Women this past Fall, I ran into Brian Lee on Facebook, and he asked if I’d plan a 10K for Run for Congo Women on International Women’s Day here in Oregon. I said yes, and now I’ve planned a Group 10K Walk/Run to take place on March 8th in conjunction with Brian Lee’s 10K in Florida a few days before, March 4.
 
The Portland, OR 10K is a block event in that the sponsors of the event are all businesses located on the block were I work, including my own employer.  The sponsors are as follows: Great Harvest Bakery, Swanson Thomas Coon & Newton, Foot Traffic, James Bean Café, Starbucks, and Diversitech.  Diversitech is the only business not on my block, because it is a local IT consulting business owned by my good friend, Kevin Putnam, who is one of the most socially aware individuals I know, and now that he is aware of conflict minerals and their connection to electronics, he has joined the sea of voices calling for an end to the atrocities in the DRC.  My overall vision for the event is to raise awareness (and funds for WfWI via Run for Congo Women) from within my bubble of the world.  
  
So far 17 have registered for the Group 10K, they include my running partner, coworkers, fellow activists in Portland, old high school chums, and people I don’t yet know, but soon will.  

My main aim is to raise awareness, and educate as many people as I can about the conflict in the DRC, and for people to recognize our connection to the conflict.   

To say the least, the March 8th event has become my passion, and I have every reason to believe that the event will be nothing short of amazing because so many dedicated people have come forward to ensure that the event is a success. 

To join us on March 8, or donate to our team’s fundraising effort, please click here.

-Amanda Ulrich, WfWI Supporter in Portland, OR

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