Six SMU students earn invitations to 2015 Clinton Global Initiative University meeting at University of Miami March 6-8

Ashley Wali

Six SMU students earn invitations to 2015 Clinton Global Initiative University meeting at University of Miami March 6-8

Clinton Global Initiative University Network logoSix SMU students will share their work on issues affecting their communities and the world during the 8th annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) at the University of Miami March 6-8, 2015.

Former President Bill Clinton and his daughter, Chelsea Clinton, vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, will host the CGI U gathering. The 2015 agenda will include sessions on topics ranging from ending illegal wildlife trade, to engaging youth as peacemakers, to harnessing big data to address global challenges.

The event will bring together more than 1,100 college students with innovators, thought leaders, and civically engaged celebrities to address challenges facing their campuses and communities in CGI U’s five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate Change, Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health.

Keep up with Clinton Global Initiative University news on Facebook: facebook.com/cgiuniversity

The SMU students who will attend the meeting, and a brief description of their CGI U Commitments to Action:

  • Colton Donica has founded Support for LGBTQ Refugees in Texas, which will provide resources and support targeted to LGBTQ refugees in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
  • Hena Rafiq has created Resources for Resolana, which provides support for women leaving the Dallas County Women’s Jail and will expand to add empowerment and work experience training.
  • Asia Rodgers has founded Art Healing, which uses art to build confidence in formerly trafficked or incarcerated women. She provides access to art classes and events where these women are able to showcase their creative work.
  • Jorawar Virk will create Kripa Care, which is designed to provide medical care to terminally ill and sick female prisoners in the Tihar Jail in New Delhi.
  • Ashley Wali and collaborator Preksha (Priya) Chowdhardy are continuing work on The Nari Project, which distributes crisis kits of clothing, supplies, information and funds to domestic abuse victims as they transition from a critical situation to a place of safety.

> Follow CGI U on Twitter @CGIU

Student attendees have the opportunity to attend plenary and working sessions, as well as other special events covering topics across CGI U’s five focus areas. In addition, they network with their peers, build skills, and identify potential partnerships. Special guests join every CGI U meeting to help student participants gain the skills and knowledge needed to take action on their commitments.

During the last day of the meeting, the students will take part in a Day of Action in the Miami community.

SMU Forum: SMU renews membership in the Clinton Global Initiative University Network

As a member of the CGI University Network of more than 60 colleges and universities that support and mentor Commitments to Action, SMU pledged $10,000 towards student projects as well as travel to the annual meeting.

SMU’s participation in the CGI University Network is a program of the Office of Engaged Learning. Most of the student Commitments to Action selected for the 2015 CGI U meeting began as Engaged Learning projects.

Find more information at the Clinton Global Initiative University homepage

December 24, 2014|For the Record, News|

Seven SMU students to attend 2014 Clinton Global Initiative University annual meeting March 21-23

Clinton Global Initiative University Network logoSeven SMU students will share their research, goals and commitment to global issues during the 7th annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) at Arizona State University in Phoenix March 21-23, 2014.

Former President Bill Clinton and his daughter, Chelsea Clinton, vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, will host the CGI U gathering. The 2014 agenda was announced earlier this year.

The event will bring together more than 1,000 college students with innovators, thought leaders, and civically engaged celebrities to address challenges facing their campuses and communities in areas such as education, environment and climate change, human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health.

Keep up with Clinton Global Initiative University news on Facebook: facebook.com/cgiuniversity

The SMU students who will attend the meeting, and a brief description of their work:

  • Rahfin Faruk is expanding Green Riba, an e-commerce and traditional microfinance storefront, to connect West Dallas and SMU-based artists to larger, national markets.
  • Adam Goff and Thomas Schmedding – through their microfinance loan project, PropeLend Economic Empowerment Ventures – will harness public support for economic development by empowering impoverished residents of developing nations to seek loans for entrepreneurship.
  • Jonathan Hess will start Veterans Day Nonprofit, whose purpose is to hold an annual Veterans Day celebration in Dallas to mark their contribution to the Dallas community, raise funds for veterans’ initiatives, and inform the community about Veterans Day and contemporary veterans’ issues.
  • Asia Rodgers will use art therapy to help victims of human trafficking gain confidence in themselves. She will provide access to art classes and events where victims will be able to showcase their creative work.
  • Trisha St. Fleur will partner with Projects Abroad to establish an interactive health education program and to allocate resources geared to women in Ghana.
  • Ashley Wali is completing the last stage of her research on what she has named The Nari Project. She will evaluate the psychological and physiological effects of the crisis kits that she provided to battered women in Dallas, Texas and Comilla, Bangladesh. She will also use her findings to conduct seminars that spread awareness about domestic violence.

Four other SMU students were approved but are not attending in 2014:

  • Joshua Bakarich
  • Joseph DiMarco
  • Daisuke Takeda
  • William Timmerman Wooten

SMU Forum: SMU joins the Clinton Global Initiative University Network

As a member of the CGI University Network of more than 50 colleges and universities that support and mentor Commitments to Action, SMU pledged $10,000 towards student projects as well as travel to the annual meeting.

Find a complete schedule at the Clinton Global Initiative University homepage

March 7, 2014|For the Record, News|

Students attend Clinton Global Initiative University event April 5-7

SMU students at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative University meeting in St. Louis

SMU students (left to right) Chibundu Nnake, Ashley Wali, William (Timm) Wooten, Joshua Bakarich, Rafhin Faruk and Daisuke (Dennis) Takeda at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative University meeting in St. Louis.

Six SMU students are attending the 6th annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) at Washington University in St. Louis April 5-7, 2013.

Former President Bill Clinton and his daughter, Chelsea Clinton, head of the Clinton Foundation, will also participate in the CGI U gathering and announced this year’s agenda and featured participants in March. The event will bring together more than 1,000 college students with innovators, thought leaders, and civically engaged celebrities to address challenges facing their campuses and communities in areas such as education, environment and climate change, human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health.

> SMU Forum: SMU joins the Clinton Global Initiative University Network

“I believe that this is the perfect chance to represent SMU on an international scale and showcase how much the school has contributed to help us help the community,” says Joshua Bakarich, a sophomore finance and economics major. Bakarich is co-founder of PROPS Social Ventures (Provide Relief Of Poverty Situations), a nonprofit microfinance and financial literacy initiative focusing on the downtown Dallas area.

Bakarich is eager to participate in CGI U because “our nonprofit is not only ready to continue promoting business growth and development in Dallas, but also to take the next step in developing a sustainable education curriculum,” he says. “I also want to bring home and share the experience at CGI U and encourage the rest of the school to get involved.”

“CGI U is an excellent way to not only learn from some of the best leaders of the world, but also meet and network with people like me who have taken on philanthropic causes,” says Ashley Wali, a sophomore finance major and fashion media minor. Wali has created The Nari Project, which develops “crisis kits” that provide battered women with basic necessities as they transition from critical situations to a secure environment. She plans to partner with Dallas’ Genesis Women’s Shelter to tailor a new version of the kit to fit the needs of North Texas women.

“One in four women will know domestic violence in her lifetime, while one in three teenage girls will be physically assaulted by a boyfriend,” Wali says, citing statistics provided by the Genesis Shelter. “And while it is important to address underlying cultural and social issues, the dire situation of these victims must be addressed first.” She is especially looking forward to a CGI U panel on empowering the next generation of girls and women, whose participants will include Chelsea Clinton, Muhammad Yunus, and Hawa Abdi Dhiblawe. “It is such a great opportunity to learn from some of the most inspirational leaders our generation has seen.”

> Watch live updates at the CGI U website

Clinton Global Initiative University Network logoMore than $400,000 is available for students to carry out proposals, called Commitments to Action, they will make at CGI U. The funding comes primarily through the CGI University Network of 33 colleges and universities, including SMU, that have committed to support, mentor, and provide seed funding to student innovators and entrepreneurs from their respective schools.

“The schools that have joined the CGI University Network are supporting student commitment-makers to create positive change across the globe,” said President Clinton. “This year, CGI U will bring together more than 1,000 college students representing all 50 states and six continents to explore concrete ways to build a better tomorrow. I look forward to working with the young leaders who come to Washington University in St. Louis this April with their enthusiasm and their ideas.”

Currently, SMU is supporting 8 students in Clinton Global Initiative University projects:

  • Joshua Bakarich
  • Rahfin Faruk
  • Richard Nixon
  • Chibundu Nnake
  • Daisuke Takeda
  • Ashley Wali
  • William Wooten
  • Michael Zincone

“It’s inspiring to witness the power of CGI U students, whose energy, ideas, optimism and determination continually expand the possibilities for public service,” said Chelsea Clinton, who serves on the board of the Clinton Foundation. “By joining an extraordinary community of young people, thought leaders, and experienced entrepreneurs, students attending CGI U 2013 will have the opportunity to make real contributions and forge connections that last a lifetime.”

> Find a complete schedule at the Clinton Global Initiative University homepage

Kelsey Reynolds (’14) contributed to this article.

 

April 5, 2013|News|
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