Clinton Global Initiative Announces Student and University Winners of CGI U Outstanding Commitment AwardOctober 09, 2008
New York - On September 26th, Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) and the Wal-Mart Foundation announced the winners of forty-four student grants and two university grants through the CGI U Outstanding Commitment Awards. The grants, made possible by the Wal-Mart Foundation, will support innovative, high-impact commitments to improve communities and lives around the world.
"CGI U is an empowering platform that brings together students and universities to make a positive difference, whether locally or on a global scale," said Bob Harrison, CEO of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). "The Outstanding Commitment Awards funding from the Wal-Mart Foundation will expand the impact and reach of these exceptional commitments, which were made by students and universities who are working hard to improve the lives of others."
Through a grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation, winners will receive funding for their CGI U Commitments to Action: new, specific, and measurable plans to address a global challenge of the winners’ choosing. The CGI U Outstanding Commitment Awards are designed to support innovative, high-impact work that creates lasting and positive social change, most notably within CGI U’s focus areas – energy and climate change, global health, human rights and peace, and poverty alleviation. The awards recognize students and student organizations from a wide variety of graduate schools, historically black colleges, Ivy League institutions, religious and tribal universities, and state schools.
"As a company focused on environmental sustainability at every level, the Wal-Mart Foundation is proud to partner with CGI U to reach hundreds of students and university officials who, like Wal-Mart, are committed to making a change to improve the environment for generations to come," said Margaret McKenna, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation. "By partnering with organizations like CGI U, we are also able to connect with pioneering experts that will, in turn, help Wal-Mart in our goal to become a more sustainable company."
In March 2008, President Clinton encouraged students and universities attending the inaugural meeting of CGI U at Tulane University in New Orleans to apply for the awards. More than 1,000 commitments have been made through CGI U since its launch in September 2007. CGI U is a youth-focused project of the Clinton Global Initiative, which was founded by President Clinton in 2005 to mobilize world leaders to take action on major global challenges.
The forty-five student award recipients include Patricia Compas from the California Polytechnic State University, whose new water treatment device will revolutionize same-day relief efforts and quell the spread of water-borne diseases, and Julie Carney from Yale University, whose Artemis Project will digitize documents and records gathered by truth commissions around the world to be made available globally online. Additionally, Mark Young of Tulane University will receive a grant for a commitment he made based on his invention, SafeSnip, a low-cost method for cutting umbilical cords in the absence of proper medical delivery services; and Tony Anderson of Morehouse College will be recognized for his pledge to deliver one million energy efficient light bulbs to low-income areas.
Two awards were granted to universities: one to support a commitment made between Providence-based Brown University and Dillard University in New Orleans, whose initial partnership was announced at the 2006 CGI Annual Meeting. Their 2008 CGI U commitment builds upon this partnership by focusing on sustainability at Dillard University, ensuring that Dillard is rebuilt in an environmentally sustainable manner, encouraging faculty, students, and staff from Brown and Dillard to collaborate in advancing energy efficiency, curriculum and research development, and community projects, incorporating recycling and transportation improvements into Dillard’s new community.
The second university award was given to the College of Menominee Nation in support of its commitment to ensure that principles of sustainability are adopted at all tribal colleges in the United States. The Sustainable Development Institute at the College of Menominee Nations is developing a toolkit which will enable other tribal colleges to monitor their own sustainability performance.
Below is a full list of CGI U Outstanding Commitment Award winners.
Building a Sustainable Campus: Advancing the Brown-Dillard Partnership
Ruth Simmons & Marvalene Hughes (University Presidents)
This commitment will expand the Brown-Dillard partnership by providing Dillard with the academic, administrative, technical and consulting assistance to support the University's efforts to become a more environmentally sustainable campus. The commitment focuses on greening the physical infrastructure on Dillard's campus, but also includes strong research and education components. Faculty, students, and staff from Brown and Dillard will work together to advance energy efficiency, course and curriculum development, research activity, and campus and community projects in areas ranging from recycling to sustainable food and transportation improvements.
Tribal College Sustainability Indicators
Verne Fowler (College President)
This commitment will develop sustainability indicators and establish a process and guidelines for tribal colleges and universities to measure and monitor sustainability performance in a realistic, reliable, and culturally appropriate way. These indicators will be identified, bench-marked, and disseminated by the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) at the college, and will integrate students into the process. All the data, frameworks, and processes identified by SDI will be collected into a toolkit that other tribal schools can use as they assess prospects for increased sustainability efforts on their respective campuses.
Sam Adelsberg of the University of Pennsylvania is connecting Palestinian micro-entrepreneurs with individual lenders across the globe through his website, LendforPeace.org. The website facilitates direct loans to Palestinians working towards a peaceful community, and aims to create a virtual, multi-cultural network to promote the growth of business amidst current conflict.
Let’s Raise a Million
Tony Anderson and his colleagues from Morehouse University have committed to financing, distributing, and installing one million energy efficient, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in low-income areas. His student group, Let’s Raise a Million, aims to empower an underrepresented demographic to take part in the clean energy movement.
A Locally Sustainable Food Loop for Lafayette College
Jennifer Bell of Lafayette College is leading a group of students who have committed to reducing food waste and increasing the use of organically grown local foods on their campus. They aim to develop an institutionalized composting system and create gardens which will incorporate the entire university community into the process of a sustainable food system.
Threads That Teach Public School Program
Patricia Brady’s NYU organization connects university students with New York City public schools, facilitating entrepreneurial-based art classes and fundraising efforts that can offset shrinking arts education budgets. Workshops organized by the program help students design, market, and sell apparel within their communities, and guide them towards understanding the basic principles of management through hands-on business experience.
Joanna Calabrese of the University of Maryland and her student group Campus INPower focus on encouraging university students to bring clean energy awareness to the administrations and the curriculums of schools around the nation. Campus INPower members facilitate student action by giving "An Inspiring Truth" presentations, developing campus toolkits, connecting an online network of INPower students, and gathering commitments from high-profile university presidents.
The Artemis Project
Julie Carney of Yale University and the Artemis Project aim to establish databases of truth commission documents for global availability through the internet. By establishing a central database of data and helping countries which lack technological capacity to digitize their documents, Carney and her colleagues have committed to creating a method to upload relevant media from a wide range of truth commissions.
Gardens for Health International
Emma Clippinger of Brown University and her organization Gardens for Health International (GHI) work to provide healthy food for people living with HIV/AIDS in Rwanda, which in turn increases the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy. GHI aims to establish community agriculture throughout Rwanda, and has committed to create five additional co-ops, expanding their support to 1,500 people living with HIV/AIDS.
Water Treatment for Disaster Relief
With the help and guidance of several students and professors at California Polytechnic State University, Patricia Compas is working to develop and distribute the Polytech Waterbag, a lightweight device which can provide drinkable water within a day to people living in disaster zones around the world. This device has the potential to play a crucial role reducing refugees’ exposure to deadly water-borne diseases that all-too-often arrive in the wake the disaster itself. Compas is currently collaborating with the CDC and the Red Cross with the hope of bringing these filtration systems to relief efforts by the end of 2009.
Peace in Focus
Kyle Dietrich and Kate Fedesova of Tufts University are using photojournalism to engage underprivileged youth who are affected by violence and political instability. Peace in Focus uses creative, interactive workshops to encourage grassroots peace photojournalism. As the first phase of the commitment, two pilot workshops have already been taken place in Boston and Bujumbura, Burundi during the summer of 2008.
Mali Signs Project
Lizzy Dupont of the University of Texas is working through the UT Rural Enhancement through Education and Design program to connect schools for the deaf with university institutions and resources, and provides educational health materials online based on community needs. Dupont’s initiative, the Mali Signs project, has committed to creating a three-way partnership between two Texas schools and the University of Texas ASL department, and is currently researching ways to expand their operations into West Africa.
Through his website, Banaa.org, Evan Faber of the George Washington University provides talented Sudanese youth who have lived through atrocity with undergraduate scholarship opportunities in the United States. Faber has made a commitment to help Sudanese scholars further their education in public health and political sciences, in order to eventually improve Sudan’s communities through peace in the future.
Climate Change and Indoor Air Pollution Abatement in the Himalayas through Novel Solar Technology
Scot Frank of MIT and Catlin Powers of Wellesley College have developed a solar cooker and heater which can be distributed in the remote Himalayan regions of China. Their group is hoping to teach communities to construct, use, and repair these devices, while increasing their availability across the region. These solar cookers and heaters will reduce indoor air pollution, reduce rural fuel combustion and its effects on climate change, and diminish the time spent by women on gathering fuel, freeing them to cultivate their educations and incomes.
World Faith Emergency Rest Centers
Frank Fredericks of New York University has committed to mobilizing a team of religiously-diverse youth to train members of houses of worship for emergency situations. The team will work with other disaster management centers and local governments in order to enable houses of varied faiths to satisfy the needs of a crisis. Fredericks has made a commitment to expand the World Faith work internationally.
Community Reintegration Program
John E. Goetz of the University of Alabama and his group are working to establish a community re-entry program for ex-offenders within Tuscaloosa County area. Their goal is to successfully reintegrate this population into the business community with faith-based mentoring programs, employer networking, and relationships with Alabama social service providers that could assist with résumé-building and interview skills.
Implementing Holistic Responses to Health Problems in Pemón, Venezuela
Yongjun Heo of Swarthmore College has made a commitment to send students to an understaffed medical clinic in Venezuela every summer. As a result, this work will have a major impact on addressing the crises of pollution, malnutrition, and malaria for over 3,000 Pemón people. Heo will also lead students to create and expand a waste management program, to reduce the incidence of bacterial infections, improve crop yields, and use low-cost incentives to promote community involvement in recycling and the reduction of pollution.
Multifunction Energy Platform (MFP) Pilot in Uganda
Janelle Heslop and Columbia University’s Engineers Without Borders chapter have committed to implement a Multifunction Energy Platform in Uganda, which will use jatropha oil as a sustainable fuel source. The program will work with a Ugandan NGO to install one MFP on a farming cooperative, and will further gauge the viability of using MFPs and jatropha oil in eastern Africa.
Improving Health Literacy Through Health Information Resources Books
Maria Kambouris of Charles Darwin University has committed to producing a resource book which will provide basic health information to young people in the Northern Territory of Australia. The Personal Health Resource Book will indicate positive health strategies, and through a two year pilot period, will test the ability of the program to increase health literacy throughout the region.
Loyola Microfinance Initiative
Aaron Kirsh of Loyola University New Orleans is working with his group to provide capital to under-financed entrepreneurs in the New Orleans region who are attempting to rebuild the post-Katrina economy through grassroots micro-enterprise. The students at Loyola have committed to collaborating with other student-managed microfinance organizations, to create a national network of loans which will alleviate poverty by facilitating small business.
Arianna Kouri and fellow University of Florida architecture students have committed to designing and constructing a recreational space for young members of the New Hope Ministries in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They plan to construct the building adjacent to the current New Hope facility, with the help of the founder of the Ministries, Edson Souza.
Global Peace Exchange, Free IT Center for Rwandan Orphans
Maria Kuecken of Florida State University and the Global Peace Exchange have committed to funding the creation of a self-sustaining IT center in Gitarama, Rwanda. The IT center will provide free primary and technical education to the boys of the Umuryango Children’s Network and the surrounding communities. It will also support itself economically by functioning as an internet café in off-hours.
Improving Health and Well-Being Through language Access in Post-Katrina New Orleans
Victoria Lattone of the Tulane University School of Social Work and her colleagues at Tulane have made a commitment to establish interpretation services which will connect low-income, Limited English Proficient (LEP) populations in Post-Katrina New Orleans with healthcare and social services. Latton’s group is devoted to helping the growing Spanish, Portuguese, and Vietnamese speaking LEP demographics to find necessary care in the recovering city.
Innovative Healthcare Financing in Sikoroni, Mali
Rachel Levenson of Brown University and the Mali Health organizing Project (MHOP) have made a commitment to exploring the potential for a community-based health financing program (CBHF) in Sikoroni, Mali. The Brown University students will create locally-specific models designed for each Malian community, and will investigate whether the CBHF scheme will actually increase access to healthcare for low income citizens.
Diagnostic Lab in a Backpack
Di Ling of Rice University and her peers have committed to prepare a medical diagnostic backpack for nomadic doctors working with the Pediatric AIDS corps in Tanzania, Lesotho, Botswana and Malawi. The group will provide specialized items to suit the needs of the different regions.
Ensuring the Sustainability of Donated Medical Technology
Mambidzeni Madzivire of the Mayo Graduate School is committed to examining ways in which her peers at Mayo can assist in providing medical technology through the donation and rehabilitation of used medical equipment to communities that need it the most. Those involved with this commitment will identify the needs of health care facilities, build a database of students and staff who have expertise in global health, and train engineers and technicians in developing countries to repair donated medical equipment.
Creating Waste Management Solutions in the Slums of Mali
Waste build-up is the cause of innumerable public health issues in Malian slums. Caroline Mailloux of Brown University and her peers will collaborate with Malian leaders and the Mali Health Organizing Project to implement a waste management system in Sikoroni, Mali, which will extend higher levels of waste management to three times as many community members by the end of 2008.
Giving Hope through Universal Education
Kroo Bay is a slum located near Freetown, Sierra Leone which holds over 2,000 children. Joseph Martin of the University of Texas and the Kroo Bay Initiative have made a commitment to ensure that these children receive renovated solar-powered educational facilities with a computer literacy program. Additionally, they plan to secure funding which will decrease instruction fees and supplement the salaries of local under-funded teachers with merit-based pay.
Improving Lifestyle Health
Rachel McCandless of the University of North Florida is one of the many students who have committed themselves to reducing health disparities in urban populations by highlighting the benefits of physical activity and proper diet. Students at the university will set up community gardens, provide classes on culinary arts, and train mentors on how to forge a sustainable, socially responsible community.
Design and Implement Teen Fatherhood Program
A teen father himself, Rajen Mehta of the University of Michigan Ann Arbor aims to develop a program which will teach other teen fathers to become actively engaged in their families. The program will help young fathers understand their paternal responsibility, and demonstrate the principles of basic care and parenting.
A’s & Aces
Tulane University student Anna Monhartova’s program A’s & Aces works to provide academic assistance, life skill education, and tennis lessons to New Orleans public school children. The program brings together the greater New Orleans community with Tulane University and local businesses to help children gain access to quality athletic and academic programs.
Bicycles Against Poverty
Through fundraising efforts at Bucknell University, Dick Muyambi was able to commit to create the project Bicycles Against Poverty, which will provide at least 100 bicycles to low-income families in the district of Gulu, Uganda. Each bicycle will be shared among a group of five individuals who will maintain the bicycle and contribute 1000 shillings (50 cents) every month to go towards expansion of the program.
VVOCF: Psychosocial Support for Children and Youth Made Vulnerable by HIV/AIDS
Through collaborative efforts of Michigan State University and the community of Zonkizizwe, Guateng (South Africa), Ramya Naraharisetti and her peers have committed to maintaining a children’s center which will provide physical and psychosocial support to orphans and children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS. During the upcoming year, these commitment-makers will focus on increasing attendance to programs and increasing the availability of testing for children in the community.
Use of Mobile Phone Technology to Create Better Disease Surveillance System
Mayuri Panditrao of the University of California at Berkeley has committed to developing a method of reporting cases of vector borne diseases in India through mobile phones. The use of mobile phones to submit data will increase the accuracy of geographical studies of disease, and will expedite responses to outbreaks while enabling efficient allocation of resources to potential epidemic areas.
Using Solar-Energy to Power Telemedicine Services in Rural Sindh, Pakistan
Ambreen Rahman of Columbia University has committed to providing solar-powered telemedicine terminals to regions with scarce access to reliable electricity in Sindhi, Pakistan. These terminals will allow doctors in major cities to communicate with patients and caregivers in rural areas, and the solar power will allow these terminals to be consistently available.
Shelley Ramsey of Trinity University in San Antonio and the Trinity ESL Initiative have committed to providing the janitorial and dining staff of the University with free English lessons from student tutors. Tutors will benefit from the practice of speaking Spanish with employees who serve them during the semester, while the project will be a serve as a small step towards educational equality within the greater San Antonio community.
New Orleans Project
Lafayette College student Katherine Reeves, a member of the Economic Empowerment and Global Learning Project Team (EEGLP) at Lafayette, has committed to partnering with residents in the Lower 9th Ward (L9W) of New Orleans. The EEGLP will help to develop the community in a way which is environmentally conscious and economically just.
Gage Based Flood Relief in the Dominican Republic
Hilary Robinson of Rice University has committed to organizing the implementation of a flood alert system in the community of Bonao in the Dominican Republic. In a region highly susceptible to flash floods, the system will utilize a network of rain gauges to provide input to a hydrologic model and alert system which will be able to warn residents of future floods by cell phone messages.
An Easily Replicable Recreational Therapy and Anti-Obesity Program for Autistic Young People
Noah Rosenberg of the University of Massachusetts Medical School has committed to create a program of recreational therapy and anti-obesity training for children ages 6-12 with autism in Worcester, MA. The after school program will stress collaborative development within the group, which will both cultivate social skills and promote physical health and fitness.
It Is Only Through Attempting the Absurd…
Philip Schapker of Tulane University and his Juggling Club has committed to using startup capital to create a community garden and bicycle shop where free lessons will be provided on bicycle mechanics and gardening. The garden and shop will eventually support itself through revenues from vegetable and bicycle sales.
Building a School for Burmese Refugees on Thai/Burma Border
Jordan Spatz of the University of California Los Angeles, working with the Engineers Without Borders chapters at UCLA and MIT, has committed to building a new, three room school building for the Burnese/Thai refugee children of No Lao, Thailand in December 2008. Spatz and his colleagues plan on building the school in response to a request from His majesty, The King of Thailand’s Royal Foundation, and the group will also conduct a health assessment of the villages surrounding the school.
Housing Opportunities Program: Preventing Homelessness through Micro Loans
Lekha Tummalapalli of Harvard University and the Housing Opportunities Program (HOP) have committed to providing 100 no-interest loans of $500-$1000 to clients in danger of eviction from homes. These loans can ultimately help to sustain the long-term stability of those in danger of homelessness.
Recycle to Eradicate Poverty
The One Million Cell Phone Challenge invites participants to recycle one million cell phones, saving 350 trillion gallons of water and allowing 100,000 women to rise from poverty through microfinance. Brian Weinberg of the University of North Texas and the Recycle to Eradicate Poverty program at UNT have committed to beat this challenge, and to use the resulting funds from recycling donated phones to directly provide loans to the poor.
Brown-Providence Microfinance Collaborative
Mollie West of Brown University and the Brown-Providence Microfinance Collaborative have committed to connecting students with community organizations to help provide loans to low income people. In addition to providing small loans of less than $5,000 to individuals without the collateral or legal status to utilize the formal banking system, the collaborative will also establish a program to teach business skills to that population.
Mark Young of Tulane University and his group of undergraduate students have committed to produce and distribute a device called SafeSnip, which provides a low-cost method to clamp, cut, and disinfect the umbilical cord, in a method that significantly decreases the risk of infection. SafeSnip will ensure healthier births in regions of the developing world that suffer from the absence of viable healthcare infrastructure.
About Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U)
CGI U, a new project of Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), challenges college students and universities to address global problems with practical, innovative solutions. At CGI U, young people and universities do more than simply discuss the world’s challenges – they take real, concrete steps towards solving them.
About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
CGI is a project of the non-partisan Clinton Foundation that brings together a community of global leaders to identify and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI’s Annual Meetings have brought together more than 100 current and former heads of state, hundreds of leading global CEOs, heads of foundations and major philanthropists, directors of the most effective non-governmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made nearly 1,200 commitments valued at $46 billion to address poverty alleviation, climate change, global health, education and other issues. These commitments have already impacted more than 200 million lives in 150 countries. Commitments made at the 2008 Annual Meeting are expected to impact almost 160 million people.
About Philanthropy at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and the Wal-Mart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Wal-Mart Foundation supports initiatives focused on enhancing opportunities in education, job skills training, sustainability and health. In 2007, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and the Wal-Mart Foundation gave $296 million to communities across the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.