Eight SMU students will share their work on issues affecting their communities and the world during the 9th annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) at the University of California-Berkeley April 1-3, 2016.
Former President Bill Clinton and his daughter, Chelsea Clinton, vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, will host the CGI U gathering. The 2016 agenda will include sessions on topics ranging from invention and innovation, to designing projects to mitigate unintended consequences, to student-led high school education reform.
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:
- Cristina Barrera – Food Guardian will consult with local Dallas businesses and institutions to eliminate commercial food waste through source reduction, donations of excess food, and composting food waste.
- Jake Brudish – Hoops H2O will host competitive basketball tournaments to raise money to aid in the creation of improved water wells in the Republic of South Sudan.
- Priya Chowdhary – The Nari Project distributes crisis kits to domestic abuse victims as they transition from critical situations to places of safety, and this year Nari is expanding operations to India.
- Sasha Mohammed – Life Spark, a smaller apparatus that works in combination with a mobile application, will serve as a more accessible form of the automatic external defibrillator.
- Hena Rafiq – Generation NOW: Breaking the Cycle of Incarceration is a program developed to help the children of incarcerated or formerly incarcerated mothers.
- Angelica Reisch – Catalyst Arts Movement is a Dallas-based project to support and fund artists who create community engagement through art.
- Thomas Schmedding – Innovating Health Safety Net Solutions in Means-Tested Areas is conducting research on innovative solutions for affordable health coverage for mothers and infants in Uganda and Dallas.
- Devon Skerritt – The Possibility Project teaches young people (K-12) skills of social entrepreneurship through training, networking, and experiences that prepare aspiring first generation Dallas students for next generation careers.
Priya Chowdhary was also selected to be a part of the Clinton Global Initiative LEAD Program. The LEAD program provides the added opportunity to engage with the Clinton Global Initiative and includes invitations to the CGI, CGI U, and LEAD annual meetings. Priya will be mentored by Khaliya Aga Khan, a distinguished philanthropist, venture capitalist, and advocate for social change.
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 Berkeley community.
SMU is a member of the CGI University Network of 70 U.S. colleges and universities that provide support and mentorship for students’ projects. The Office of Engaged Learning is the University’s sponsoring department.