Santa Fe activist traveling to the Congo for women’s solidarity work in “the most dangerous place to be a woman”!

Carmen Stone (@EllaSube on Twitter) is a Santa Fe-based activist and student who volunteers for Maman Shujaa, which means “Hero Women” in Swahili. Led by Neema Namadamu, this group of grassroots Congolese women leaders is speaking out to inspire, create, and sustain one another through a vision that emphasizes peace, human rights and the rights of nature. The Democratic Republic of Congo has been deemed “the most dangerous place to be a woman,” but Maman Shujaa envision a “New Congo” rising!

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On a windy day in Santa Fe, Carmen Stone spoke to ONM about her upcoming trip this June and July to Congo, including how the Occupy movement has inspired her to get more deeply involved with activism. “Before Occupy, I was very aware of injustice and atrocities going on in the world. I always wanted to be an activist, but I didn’t know how … What I feel now is that I have found my passion and true calling,” she said. Please be patient watching this video – the audible wind calms down after a few minutes!

Carmen has been invited to travel to Congo this summer to work side by side with Neema and teach the Congolese “Hero Women” to use computers, to attend the AVOC Widows & Orphans Conference in Minembwe, DR Congo (where 70% of the widows are such due to the conflict wars, and 95% of them are illiterate), to meet with incredibly dedicated doctors, to assist Neema in her multitude of projects and NGOs, and to film interviews of the Women’s visions for a New Congo, to name just a few things. She will document her experience, and ONM will share live updates on her work to the best of our ability.

On Thursday, May 16 in Santa Fe from 7 to 9 pm, a fundraiser for Carmen Stone’s mission to the Congo is taking place at El Farol (808 Canyon Road). The event will feature performances by some of Santa Fe’s top musicians, including Lisa Carman, Eryn Brent, 2013 NM Music Award Nominees Chris Courtney and Patti Schultz, and eclectic fusion band American Honey. Learn more at the Facebook event page: El Farol Presents: Circle of Songwriters Sing for Congo. You can also donate online through WePay to support Carmen’s amazing work at: https://www.wepay.com/donations/rising-with-the-women-of-congo

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Finally, in these two videos, Neema Namadamu speaks about the suffering of women in the Congo and her vision for a New Congo. The first video was posted on May 7, 2013.

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