Northwestern University has joined the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) with organizational representation from the Institute of Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN).
What is CGI U?
Founded by President Bill Clinton in 2007, CGI U networks the innovation talents of students from more than 300 universities around the world to foster student-led actions that address sustainability issues impacting their communities and the world.
CGI U's rigorous selection process for student candidates asks students to submit Commitments to Action, compelling proposals for affecting change in five focus areas: education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation and public health.
Students whose proposals are selected by CGI U will be invited to participate in a three-day global leadership conference hosted by Bill and Chelsea Clinton. Past speakers at the event ranged from global policy makers, social enterprise leaders scholars and commentators such as Madeleine Albright, Jack Dorsey, Jimmy Wales, Muhammad Yunus, Hawa Abdi Diblawe and Northwestern University graduate, Stephen Colbert.
Examples of past commitments
Examples of past Northwestern commitments in the five focus areas include:
- Code for Chicago aims to empower students from lower socio-economic backgrounds in the Chicagoland area and improve their computer literacy by encouraging critical thinking, creativity and college readiness through lessons in coding and developing.
- Wildcats Give Back addresses youth empowerment, volunteerism and service on Northwestern University’s campus by creating a comprehensive campus database of the community service opportunities in Evanston and Chicago for the student body.
- Fired Up From the Fever Malaria Project aims to apply the marriage of medicine and media through the production of two documentaries about malaria, a disease that has eluded humanity for over 500,000 years.
Environment and Climate Change:
- Smokeless Stoves in Guangdong, China will address the indoor air pollution and respiratory disease issues.
- The Unoidid Mussel Filtration Project addresses the excessive contamination in the Chicago River, one of the nation’s most threatened waterways. This self-sustaining and proven method of filtration using bivalves will be tested on an isolated portion of the river and then expanded to impact areas of higher pollution.
Peace and Human Rights:
- Health care literacy and health insurance literacy is a major problem as it hinders access to quality health care. Students and business students will provide pro bono financial advice to help people enroll for health insurance and budget for their premiums. A goal of $10,000 will be raised for The Verdure Fund to help 5 people make their first year of premium payments.
- More than a Nuclear Deal: The U.S. and Iran, American and Iranian students will participate in an educational exchange program, taking place in Chicago and Tehran. This eight-week summer program will include learning opportunities inside and outside of the classroom with the goal of engaging American and Iranian students on social, political, and cultural topics relevant to both societies.
- The Village is a mentorship-centered, community-based organization intended to serve the children of parents incarcerated or recently released from Cook County Jail and to exonerate these children from the consequences of the actions of the most important adults in their lives.
- Best Foot Forward is a socially- conscious shoe company that empowers female Kenyan entrepreneurs working in the shoe industry and exports fine leather goods to U.S. markets.
- Urban Orchards will address poor nutrition in identified food deserts within Duval County of Jacksonville, FL. To achieve this goal, Urban Orchards will work with student volunteers from Stanton College Preparatory and A. Phillip Randolph, local high schools near our selected census tract, to plant fruit-bearing trees and bushes in household yards.
- Marlan is a mental health web app that transforms how society views mental health and how individuals approach it. Gathering complex jargon from research into a simple, easy to use database that provides visual, comprehensible facts, Marlan also provides a personal tracking system that makes tracking personal emotions like stress, anger, and happiness easy.
- Health Asset Mapping in Evanston and Skokie uses ArcGIS to create an interactive map of health resources for Evanston and Skokie residents. The Commitment will work within the structure of the Community Health Corps, a student group that serves as a bridge linking residents to local health resources.
Contact: Monika Wnuk
ISEN Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications
Technological Institute, L412