Faces of Hope campus rally to kick off Clinton Global Initiative University

Learn about students' plans and ways you can get involved

People around campus have been considering their personal commitments to action since it was announced that CGI U would be coming to Washington University in St. Louis. Above, engineering students Brittany Edwards, left, and Sara Fletcher are committed to alternative energy research. To view a gallery of commitments to action from WUSTL faculty, staff and students, visit the Washington University Facebook page​.

Install a wind turbine in Nicaragua.
Create a mobile app to help illiterate women in Pakistan access health and education information. Teach youth in distressed St. Louis neighborhoods leadership skills to improve their communities. Help people in China quit smoking. Get veterans to train horses for therapy use. Provide HPV vaccines to youths in Uganda.

These are just a sampling of the detailed and far-reaching projects Washington University in St. Louis students have committed to accomplishing as part of this year’s Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), which will hold its annual meeting on campus in April.

The Faces of Hope event on Wednesday, March 27, is an opportunity for the WUSTL community and friends to come together and get ready for CGI U.

UPCOMING CGI U PROGRAMMING: 6 p.m. March 25, January Hall, Room 110. Screening of Precious Knowledge​ documentary2 p.m. April 5, Wilson Hall, Room 214​. “Debt and Inequality” lecture, Louis Hyman, author of Borrow: The American Way of Debt. 3:30 p.m. April 6, Former President Bill Clinton and Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report, hold the closing plenary session of CGI U.- RSVP for Faces of Hope here. – Stay tuned for watch party information. – Visit cgiu.wustl.edu for the latest event and schedule updates.

Learn about more than 50 of the 118 projects that students have committed to for CGI U. Hear university leaders’ announcement of a major institutional commitment to action, and find out how you can be part of the WUSTL-CGI U effort that starts on campus next month.

Faces of Hope is an annual event at WUSTL, hosted by the Gephardt Institute for Public Service, that celebrates the faculty, staff and students’ civic engagement and community service. The rally provides a chance to learn more about particular service projects under way and network with like-minded community members.

Faces of Hope will run from 4:30-6 p.m. in the Danforth University Center’s first- and second-floor common areas. Attendees can support the WUSTL commitment by signing a pledge and choosing a giveaway item. To receive a giveaway, people must pre-register here by Friday, March 22.

Recognizing CGI U’s commitment to protecting the environment, the Faces of Hope gathering plans to be a zero-net waste and energy event.
The 200 students’ commitments address at least one of the five focus areas of CGI U: education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation and public health.

Here are just a few examples:

Claire Christensen, a senior majoring in economics in Arts & Sciences, aims to raise $10,000 to install a wind turbine in Sumu Kaat, Nicaragua. One turbine could provide 1,500 kilowatt hours of energy a year to 10 homes. Christensen plans events that would serve dual roles as fundraisers and educational efforts to teach people about climate change and the importance of sustainable development both in the United States and abroad.

Medical student Mengyang Sun plans to provide HPV vaccines, which protect against cervical cancer, to everyone, male and female, between 9 and 26 years old residing in Gulu District in northern Uganda. Cervical cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women in developing countries. Rather than focusing on screening and early detection, as many efforts do, Sun’s project strives for cancer prevention through mass vaccination.

Closer to home, De Andrea Nichols, a graduate student in social work, proposes D*Serve, a program to empower young people in north St. Louis to turn around their neighborhoods by teaching them skills in design and civic leadership, offering lessons and projects in areas such as architecture, communications and public art.

To learn more about CGI U, including student projects, events and the important work WUSTL faculty, students and staff are doing today in CGI U’s five focus areas, visit cgiu.wustl.edu.

Co-sponsors for Faces of Hope are Dell Inc., WUSTL’s Office of Sustainability, Dining Services and Bon Appétit’s Eco-to-Go Program, and student initiatives Net Impact, Tote Green and the Student Union’s Green Events Commission.​​​​​​​