Former First Family Leads Students In Solving Global Issues

March 21, 2014

The former first family will be in the Valley this weekend for the Clinton Global Initiative University conference. University students from all around the globe will gather this weekend in Tempe for the Clinton Global Initiatives University conference. They will propose action plans to tackle global problems involving education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health.

Jacqueline Smith heads up ASU’s University Initiatives office. She said it was time the organization came here.

“They look to rotate geographically across the United States, so it was due time they come out to the Southwest,” said Smith. “So we were selected both because we have the venue capacity, but more importantly the institutional commitment to support students to advance commitments to action.”

Smith said the conference itself is an example of a commitment to a climate change solution.

“In fact, the Clinton Global Initiative University convening will be a zero waste event, which means more than 90 percent of the waste, whether it be food or other items that are disposed of, will be diverted from the landfill,” said Smith.

Guest speakers at the event include Jimmy Kimmel, Sen. John McCain, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

On Sunday, the event moves from Tempe to Phoenix, where students will participate in a “Day of Action.” Students will go to the northeast corner of Central Avenue and Indian School Road where they will paint murals, build picnic tables and help develop community gardens, said Smith.

The project is part of Mayor Greg Stanton’s PHX Renews initiative to repurpose vacant lots in central Phoenix.