While addressing the inaugural meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University at Tulane University on Saturday, former President Bill Clinton announced a number of new projects that students and universities will undertake to improve the world.
A new, nonpartisan project of the Clinton Global Initiative, CGI U works to mobilize college students and universities to address global issues with practical, innovative solutions. Nearly seven hundred college students, along with the presidents of twenty-nine universities, directors of eleven national youth organizations, and several social entrepreneurs and college officials, gathered in New Orleans over the weekend to participate in discussions and working groups devoted to four focus areas: energy and climate change, global health, human rights and peace, and poverty alleviation.
Prior to attending the conference, students and faculty submitted their "commitments to action" in one or more issue areas. Over the coming months and years, students will carry out their projects report back to CGI U on their progress and results.
Those making commitments include Mayo Graduate School student Mambidzeni Madzivire, who will work to repair medical equipment in the developing world by pairing engineering graduate students with faculty service trips; Salt Lake City Community College student and Sudanese "Lost Boy" Jokom Riak, who will provide farmers returning to southern Sudan following the recently concluded peace agreement with farming equipment, seeds, and pesticide; University of Central Arkansas president Lu Hardin, who announced a new program to leverage faculty and student research relating to poverty alleviation; and Rice University students Di Ling and Jenna Hook, who will work to create medical diagnostic backpacks for nomadic doctors in sub-Saharan Africa.
"Today's generation of young people has more power to change the course of our future than any previous generation," said Clinton. "Whether it's from their computer in a dorm room or through student groups on campus, they are seizing opportunities to put their innovative ideas into action. I hope CGI U will embolden more students to help solve the great challenges we all face in the twenty-first century."
To view a complete list of commitments announced at this weekend's event, visit the William J. Clinton Foundation Web site.