News & Events
Students Attend Clinton Global Initiative Conference
Two graduate students in USD’s Peace & Justice Studies program attended the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) meeting held at the University of Miami on April 16 – 18, 2010. President Bill Clinton launched CGIU in 2007 to engage the next generation of leaders from college campuses around the world. Each year, CGIU hosts a meeting of students, university presidents and youth organization to discuss solutions to pressing global issues, including education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health.
Ainul Fajri (pictured) and Ernest B. Makulilo, MA students at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, were invited to attend the meeting. USD’s Office of the President provided funds to support the transportation, housing and meal costs for the two students to attend.
To attend 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.
Ainul committed to working with local rural schools to integrate concepts of peace and justice into school curricula in her home region of Aceh, Indonesia. Children in this region have suffered greatly from the protracted conflict. Ainul believes that working with the schools to incorporate concepts of peace and justice will teach children that there are other options besides armed violence.
Makulilo committed to expand his “Scholarship Forum,” an online initiative which provides educational scholarship information for students from developing countries.
After attending the conference, Makulilo said, “The CGI U is the sort of inspirational forum that develops and sharpens one’s commitment to action. You leave the meeting with a renewed sense that we can solve these global problems by working together.”
One of the key activities during the conference included a service project. This year, participants helped to upgrade the facilities at the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust complex. Some of activities included clearing land for an organic community garden, remodeling the family resource center, installing a playground, painting a mural and installing a flagpole at the veterans’ residence.
Ainul was assigned to a group in charge of painting a mural in ceramic tiles. The group decided to paint a “peace tree” with the word “peace” represented in different languages. Ainul was particularly pleased to include the Indonesian word for peace in the painting. The mural will be installed in one of the rooms in the complex.