A GLOBAL CALL FOR HUMAN DIGNITY
"The People of the Congo MUST know that we have their backs. The government of the Congo MUST know failure is not an option." —U.S. Department of State, UN Address March 2018
CLEVELAND, OH — Socent Studios, a Cleveland based social enterprise creative, is lighting Northeast Ohio’s iconic Terminal Tower located at Cleveland Public Square as a global call for peace and human dignity in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Today, Congo is home to the deadliest struggle for peace since WWII.
Cleveland OH's landmark lighting will illuminate the Terminal Tower with the colors of Congo's flag and shine as a beacon of hope and solidarity from dusk to dawn on April 2nd, 2018.
The meaning of Congo's flag colors and star are as follows:
Blue symbolizes Congo's peace and hope.
Red symbolizes the blood of Congo's martyrs.
Yellow symbolizes Congo's wealth and prosperity.
Star symbolizes Congolese unity and Congo's brilliant future.
In working solidarity with prominent Congolese peace leaders and leading international Advocacy groups, we are calling for an end to the deadliest struggle since WWII. On April 2nd 2018 Socent Studios and the K&D Group will illuminate the darkness with Congo’s flag colors to demonstrate Cleveland OH's solidarity with Congolese youth risking together nonviolently for peace, progress and a return to noble prosperity.
CALL TO ACTION #1 — 04/02/18
OFFICIAL FACEBOOK EVENT
We at Socent Studios are calling on all Northeast Ohioans to join our global call for peace in Congo by tweeting your best photo(s)/footage of Cleveland OH's iconic Terminal Tower beaming with the colors of Congo's flag.
To help us illuminate the darkness and in solidarity with Congolese, click the preloaded tweet button below, upload your photo and tweet for peace! Or, copy-paste the below tweet text into your tweet box, upload your photo(s)/footage of the Terminal Tower and tweet for peace!
< or copy-paste below >
@SocentStudios @cityofcleveland @OHPressSec @StateDept @UN @President_RDC @luchaRDC @bismackbiyombo @ThePlainDealer @wkyc @WEWS @fox8news @cleveland19news @clevelanddotcom @nytimes #CLE #CONGO #RDCongo
CALL TO ACTION #2
We at Socent Studios ask you to join us in solidarity by helping to encouraging our Senators to sign the Congressional Resolution for peaceful democratic elections in Congo: https://bit.ly/2EdkZYf
The Democratic Republic of Congo, a Great Lakes nation, is located in the center (heart) of Africa. Congo is known for its abundance of rain forest, wildlife and natural resources including freshwater, fertile land, and trillions of dollars in mineral resources such as copper, cobalt, diamonds, gold, coltan, and more. As opposed to providing Congo with prosperity, however, these resources have plagued Congo with conflict, corruption and Kleptocracy for hundreds of years. Since 1996 roughly 6 million Congolese have died due to conflict and almost 3 million are displaced and currently living in displacement camps.
Due to geopolitical corruption, transnational exploitation of Congo’s immense mineral wealth (required for our electronics to function) and international apathy toward Congo, profitable demand for pop culture electronics such as our cell phones, video game consoles, tablets, laptops, PCs, cameras and electric cars is directly fueling our modern world’s deadliest war.
Congolese Dictator Joseph Kabila has been accused of working with international companies to exploit Congo’s resources, creating windfall profits for himself and his allies, while leaving Congo one of the least developed countries in the world. In 2016 it was reported that 25 billion dollars was lost to the Congolese people in just five opaque trading deals. Since 2016 Joseph Kabila has remained in power beyond his constitutionally mandated two term limit, and has refused to open free and fair elections for The People.
Led by Congolese youth in protest, many have begun taking to the streets in organized nonviolent movements/demonstrations, demanding Kabila’s removal and their right to free and fair elections. Hundreds of these protesters, including priests and children, have been arrested, beaten, and/or killed while trying to advocate for their fellow Congolese and Democratic Constitution. One of the most prominent student-led nonviolent protest organizations is Socent Studio’s partner, LUCHA RD Congo.
Unfettered transnational plundering of Congolese has also placed Congo’s wildlife at grave risk. As a result planet earth’s largest primates, Congo's endemic Eastern Lowland Gorillas (King Kong), are critically endangered and on the precipice of extinction. Additionally, every year roughly 30,000 of Congo’s African Elephants (largest land mammals in the world) are slaughtered for their ivory. It is estimated only 400,000 remain.
A GRAPHIC NOVEL FOR PEACE
In support of our Landmark Tower Lighting For Peace and Human Dignity in Congo, Socent Studios will release Episode 2 of ARISE CONGOLESE!, a Digital Graphic Novel For Peace in April 2018. Volume 1: THE STORY OF YALALA is based on Yalala Binja, the 15 year old Congolese activist who recently made international headlines when she and others were arrested for nonviolently protesting Dictator Joseph Kabila and a tyrannical Congolese government. To support Socent’s release of Episode 2, Volume 1 of ARISE CONGOLESE! and to demonstrate solidarity with Yalala, LUCHA RD Congo and all brave Congolese risking together for peace within their county, Socent Studios and K&D Group will light Cleveland’s historical Terminal Tower in the colors of the Congolese flag.
CALL TO ACTION #1 — 04/02/18
OFFICIAL FACEBOOK EVENT
We at Socent Studios are calling on all Northeast Ohioans to join our global call for peace in Congo by tweeting your best photo(s)/footage of Cleveland OH's iconic Terminal Tower beaming with the colors of Congo's flag. To help us illuminate the darkness and in solidarity with Congo, click the preloaded tweet button below, upload your photo and tweet for peace! Or, copy-paste the below tweet text into your tweet box, upload your photo(s)/footage of the Terminal Tower and tweet to for peace!
CALL TO ACTION #2
We at Socent Studios ask you to join us in solidarity by helping to encouraging our Senators to sign the Congressional Resolution for peaceful democratic elections in Congo: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/support-peaceful-democratic-elections-in-congo
Founded in 2015 by proud Cleveland OH native Justin Bastian, Socent Studios is a social enterprise creative producing interactive transmedia to educate, inspire and mobilize millions toward durable impact in the world. Due to this, Socent Studios was recently honored by Ohio's largest major newspaper The Plain Dealer as a Top 5 Northeast Ohio Disruptor for 2018. Due to this honor and dedicated to Cleveland, Socent financed and produced RUST BELT RENAISSANCE for press distribution to capture and celebrate the ensemble narrative of Northeast Ohio's disruptive entrepreneurial movement. Recently selected to the 42nd Cleveland International Film Festival, this short documentary also features Socent's passion for Congo. RUST BELT RENAISSANCE will compete in CIFF 42's Local Heroes Shorts Program on April 11th, 9:30 PM at Tower City Cinemas.