Clinton Global Initiative University Continues

University of Miami hosts the CGI U event April 16 - 18.

Coral Gables (April 16, 2010) — President Bill Clinton will open the third Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) meeting at the University of Miami on Friday by announcing new projects that students and universities are undertaking to change lives around the world.

Throughout the year, and as a prerequisite of attending the CGI U meeting, each student must develop a Commitment to Action — essentially, a plan to take specific steps to address a pressing global challenge. More than 1,000 commitments will be made at the meeting this year, in addition to 2,000 made in 2008 and 2009.

“Through the Clinton Global Initiative University, students and universities have made more than 3,000 commitments over the last three years, improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide,” President Clinton said. “Our meeting this year at the University of Miami shows how young people and universities can make a difference in their own communities, and in communities around the world. This is a particularly critical message in the aftermath of the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January, and I am proud that many of the commitments made this year will help Haiti build back better.”

At the meeting, attendees will discuss pressing global challenges, including the future of water, rebuilding Haiti, access to higher education, health care in the developing world, energy, sustainable transportation, and technology as a tool for promoting human rights. In addition, the students will participate in hands-on workshops that will explore practical challenges such as fundraising, marketing, and building grassroots community engagement. On Sunday, President Clinton will join the students and Alonzo Mourning, founder of Alonzo Mourning Charities, for a service project at the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust’s homestead homeless complex, a community of approximately 500 formerly homeless individuals and families.

President Bill Clinton launched CGI U in 2007 to engage the next generation of leaders from college campuses around the world. Each year, CGI U hosts a meeting of students, university presidents, and youth organizations to discuss solutions to pressing issues. CGI U builds upon the successful model of the Clinton Global Initiative, which brings together world leaders to take action on global challenges. Through the CGI Annual Meeting, more than 1,700 commitments have been made. These collective commitments are valued at more than $57 billion and have already positively impacted more than 220 million people in more than 170 countries.

This year, 1,300 students representing 318 schools, 83 countries, and all 50 states will attend the CGI U Meeting, along with presidents and administrators from 80 universities and 79 leaders of national youth organizations. Other notable attendees include Paul Farmer, Co-Founder of Partners in Health; Regina Benjamin, U.S. Surgeon General; John Podesta, former White House Chief of Staff and President CEO of the Center for American Progress; Donna E. Shalala, University of Miami President and Former Secretary of Health and Human Services; Kalpen Modi; Mayor Bob Dixson, Greenburg, KS; Michele Norris, NPR; Dolores Huerta, Co-Founder of United Farm Workers of America; Joey Cheek, Olympic speed skater; Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland Raiders cornerback; Alonzo Mourning, Founder, Alonzo Mourning Charities and NBA player; Kenna Zemedkun, Grammy-nominated artist and Executive Director of Summit on the Summit; and Heather Graham, Actress.

"We are delighted to host the Clinton Global Initiative University on our campus," said Donna E. Shalala, president of the University of Miami. "This conference will inspire young people from around the world to turn their ideas into action. CGI U attendees will take the lessons learned here and share them with other students back home — ensuring that the benefits of this meeting extend far beyond this event.”At the opening plenary session Friday, President Clinton will announce several exemplary commitments made by both students and universities, descriptions of which are included below. More new commitments will be announced on Saturday.

Focus on Haiti

This year, CGI U has a variety of programming that will help attendees learn how they can help Haiti build back better.

  • Closing Plenary: Moving Forward in Haiti

    6 p.m. – 7 p.m., BankUnited Center
    Michele Norris will host a conversation with President Clinton, Paul Farmer of Partners in Health, and Haitian guests on the recovery and reconstruction efforts underway in Haiti, and how students and the university community can get involved. 

  • University Presidents’ Luncheon
    On Saturday, President Clinton will host a private luncheon for all the university presidents in attendance, including six presidents from Haitian universities. They will discuss how university presidents can mobilize their communities to help Haiti, and CGI will distribute a two-page document with ideas. The Haitian university presidents are Denis Régis, Centre D’etudes Diplomatiques et Internationales; Jean Marie B. Monrose, Centre Pilote de Formation Professionelle; Jean Vernet Henry (title: Rector), Université d’Etat d’Haiti; Gérard Dorcely, Université de Port-au-Prince; Pierre-André Pierre, Université Notre Dame D’Haiti; and Jacky Lumarque, Université Quisqueya.

  • Haitian Speakers
    Other Haitian speakers will explain the situation on the ground in Haiti and provide concrete ideas for how attendees can help. Jean Robert Cadet, Founder of the Jean Cadet Restavek Foundation, will be speaking on the Human Trafficking working session (10:30-12:00). The Restavek Foundation is dedicated to helping restavek children – a class of enslaved children in Haiti.

    Also, Syndie Pierre-Canel is a former H.E.L.P. scholarship recipient who will be speaking on the Overcoming the Toughest Obstacles working session (4:00-5:30). Rose Thelus is a graduate student at the University of Texas who will be speaking on the Push for Proximity working session (4:00-5:30).

    Here are some of the Haiti-related commitments made by students, national youth organizations, and universities this year.

    Feeding the Poor, One Egg at a Time
    Christina Newman, Sherley Codio and Fabrice Marcelin, students at Virginia Tech, in partnership with Caritas and the Religious of Jesus and Mary in Gros-Morne, Haiti, have committed to raise $60,000 and oversee the construction of a facility that will house more than 1,500 hens capable of producing 1250 eggs per day — 15 percent of the local egg supply.

    Rasin Lavil Bay Lavi (Urban Roots Give Life)
    Ann Marie Warmenhoven of Florida Interational University and Camille Kremer of University of Miami, in association with SOIL, have committed to create sustainable urban gardens in Shada, Cap-Haitian.

    Universities for Ushahidi
    Tufts University doctoral candidate Patrick Meier commits to train student volunteers at six universities on how to map crisis information during disasters and conflicts. This project will use Ushahidi software which enables users to submit real time information during disasters and conflicts and plots it on maps in terms of time and location. This information can help law enforcement and medical teams respond to disasters.

    Construction of 2,000 Emergency Houses in Haiti
    With the participation of university volunteers, the nonprofit Un Techo para mi Pais commits to build 2,000 emergency houses in Haiti. This commitment will involve Haitian university students living in the Dominican Republic and in Haiti in the reconstruction of their own country, strengthening the social conscience of the future leaders of their country.

    Florida International University’s Hope for Haiti
    With a priority of rebuilding the higher education infrastructure, FIU will collaborate with the University of Haiti (UEH) to lead a cross-system team to seek financial support and provide for temporary educational facilities, and sound reconstruction of UEH’s 13 campuses. Related to that initiative, FIU is leading an international initiative to save Haitian patrimony through the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC). Additionally, FIU’s Colleges of Engineering and Architecture are engaged in multiple initiatives to rebuild the urban infrastructure in Port au Prince. Also, because of its location, strengths and affinity with the Haitian community in Miami, FIU has taken a lead to support the Haitian Diaspora by engaging with fluent Creole speakers to volunteer their time, communications expertise and provide entrepreneurial advice to help rebuild the Haitian economy.


Results of previous commitments

In 2008 and 2009, CGI U members (including students, presidents, and national youth organizations) made more than 2,000 commitments. Through their CGI U commitments, these members have:
    •  Made physical infrastructure improvements worth over $1.3 million to schools and libraries in South Africa, Rwanda, Ghana, New Orleans, Nigeria, Laos, and other communities
    •  Engaged 2,700 people in workshops on conflict resolution, diplomacy and peace
    •  Engaged over 5,000 people in tutoring and mentoring projects
    •  Established and maintained over 90,000 square feet of community gardens
    •  Introduced more than 3,000 bicycles on college campuses within the US as well as communities in Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Cameroon, China
    •  Distributed more than 16,000 compact fluorescent light bulbs
    •  Recycled more than 29,000 pounds of waste

Commitments to be announced Friday
In 2008, Evan Faber, a student at George Washington University, made a CGI U commitment to launch to empower Sudanese youth to address the causes of conflict in their home country. Banaa scholars receive scholarships to U.S. universities where they study for degrees related to the promotion of peace and sustainable development in Sudan. Since its creation, Banna has secured scholarship commitments from seven colleges and universities, started over 35 college chapters across the U.S., and recruited over 170 Sudanese applicants.

Writing a Dinka Book
Originally from South Sudan, Makwei Mabioor Deng grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya from the age of 6, speaking the Dinka tribal language with his parents. Many people of Dinka origin speak the language and pass it to their children informally, but are never taught to read or write it. But as many learn new languages, including English, Dinka is beginning to fade. Before coming to the United States, Makwei wrote long-hand a textbook with formal rules for the language. When he came to school in the U.S. on a Banaa scholarship, he typed up the book, which is now under review. Once published, he commits to making the textbook available for schoolchildren in South Sunda to keep the Dinka language alive.

 WSU Math Corps: A Force for Detroit's Public School Children
Wayne State University and Wayne State students Joseph Ratcliff, Jaron Bentley, Nicole Plummer, and Alanna Tremble, commit to host a six-week Math Corp Summer Camp for 400 students. Approximately 50 Wayne State students will provide mentorship and improve the math skills of middle and high school students in inner-city Detroit.

Rasin Lavil Bay Lavi (Urban Roots Give Life)
Ann Marie Warmenhoven of Florida International University and Camille Kremer of University of Miami, in association with SOIL, have committed to create sustainable urban gardens in Shada, Cap-Haitian. This commitment will increase local availability and quality of food while improving public health and nutrition. Through research, fundraising, and community education, the project will work to expand one pilot garden into 10 multiple family plots within one year.

Webcast and Press Registration Information

Students not in attendance at the University of Miami can follow the meeting live via webcast, and can make their own commitments online by visiting

Press Registration:

BankUnited Center
Left/Visiting Team Entrance
1245 Dauer Drive
Coral Gables, FL 33146

All Plenary Sessions including Opening and Closing:
BankUnited Center
Left/Visiting Team Entrance
1245 Dauer Drive
Coral Gables, FL 33146

Friday and Saturday Night Receptions:
Whitten University Center Patio
University of Miami
1306 Stanford Drive
Coral Gables, FL 33146

Service Project:
28500 S.W. 125th Avenue
(at the former Homestead Air Reserve Base)
Miami, FL 33033

**For Planning Purposes and Subject to Change**

To obtain press credentials for CGI U, please visit Please note if you have special needs, such as sat truck parking. If you have any problems or questions, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

If you have not confirmed your attendance at CGI U by April 15th, you will need to register for a press credential on-site on Friday, April 16th between 1 PM – 5 PM.

Press Registration/Check-In will be held on the ground floor of the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami just inside the left entrance near the Visiting Team Locker Rooms. The BankUnited Center is located at 1245 Dauer Drive, Coral Gables, Florida.

Please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with any questions.

For more information, please visit or

NOTE: President Clinton will present commitment certificates at each plenary session.

CGI U is sponsored by Darden Restaurants, Inc., Dell, U.S. Global Investors, Inc., Walmart, and CGI U media partner mtvU. To learn more about CGI U, please visit

About Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U)
CGI U, a project of Clinton Global Initiative, challenges college students and universities to address global problems with practical, innovative solutions. At the CGI U Meeting, young people and universities do more than simply discuss the world’s challenges – they take concrete steps toward solving them. To learn more, visit

About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 125 current and former heads of state, 15 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGImembers have made more than 1,700 commitments valued at $57 billion, which have already improved the lives of 220 million people in more than 170 countries. The 2010 CGIAnnual Meeting will take place from September 21-23, 2010, in New York City. The CGIcommunity also includes CGI University (CGI U), a forum to engage college students in global citizenship, CGI Lead, and, an online portal where anybody can make their own Commitment to Action. For more information, visit

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