If actions speak louder than words, former U.S. President Bill Clinton will be causing a racket at the University of Miami this spring.
During his time in the White House, Clinton saw countless global issues discussed but not acted upon. He created the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in 2005 to change this.
CGI brings together people of different cultures and professions to form tangible plans for solving the problems they face around the world.
Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), a branch of CGI that gets college students involved, will meet at UM from Apr. 16 to 18.
“We are thrilled for our students,” UM President Donna Shalala said. “This is a wonderful opportunity to host a world class conference and show off our campus and community. I personally asked President Clinton to bring the Clinton Global Initiative U to the U.”
CGI U Director Keisha Senter said that Shalala’s commitment to service as well as the involved, energetic student body made UM an ideal site for this year’s meeting.
“Miami is such an international city and there is such a diverse group of nationalities represented on campus,” Senter said. “This setting will undoubtedly bring an interesting new component to the discussion of global issues.”
Problems at home will be acted upon as well. CGI U will run a service project in the Miami community.
“Our goal is to give young people from all over the world the tools and knowledge they will need to make a difference locally and internationally,” Senter said. “We won’t just talk about it; we’ll make it happen through service.”
CGI U focuses on education, energy and climate change, global health, peace and human rights, and poverty alleviation.
To be eligible to attend the annual CGI U meeting academics must form their own “Commitment to Action,” a specific, concrete plan to address a concern they feel strongly about fixing.
Applications will be avaliable at www.cgiu.org within the next few weeks.
Students can use their commitments to solve problems on campus or in nations across the globe. Almost 1,000 commitments have been made by students since the program’s launch in 2007. CGI U members currently represent over 25 countries.
Last year was the first time UM students attended a CGI U conference. President Shalala served as a panel chair and brought with her 15 dedicated undergraduate and law students.
This spring about 300 UM students will have the opportunity to participate, Shalala said, adding that hundreds more will be able to serve as volunteers and hosts and thousands can attend a public session with President Clinton.