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Why were we inspired at the celebration of the Congo's 50th Anniversary?

On June 30, the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo celebrated the 50th anniversary of their liberation from Belgium. The Congolese Community of North Carolina/Raleigh sponsored a day-long celebration to honor the anniversary and to help us imagine a better future for the people of the DRC. Our friends from the All Things Congo Task Force, Miki and Jolie Kidibu, were instrumental in organizing the conference.
Neither a political rally nor a religious event, this gathering celebrated the culture of the Congo with joyful music and art. We heard a socio-politico-economic presentation from Dr. Georges Nzongola Ntalanja about the current state of things in the Congo (remember his excellent presentation at our All Things Congo event?). Then a panel of experts fielded  a wide range of questions.  They offered concrete advice on how we might make a difference.  We also made some terrific connections for future work together (including meeting Ms.Mbelu Walton of the microloan project accesxy) and Dr. Philip Mwalali of the Africa Economic Foundation.
It was a wonderful day and Community UCC was honored to be invited, not only as guests but as presenters. Steve Halsted and Fernand Milandu spoke about All Things Congo and the history of CUCC's relationship with The Good New Message Church and our friends from the Congo.
More photos
Why were we inspired?  Ask Don, Shirley, Vandy,  Margaret, Jane, Gary, Fernand or Steve.
[We hope to invite the amazing Sango Malamu band to play their faith-inspired songs at CUCC; you can hear their music on this short video about the conference.  The recording quality only gives a hint of their tight harmonies and Carribean-inspiring rhythms.]