Six 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.
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.
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.
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.