GW SEAS Student Selected for Clinton Global Initiative University

2020 CGI U cohort seeks to solve world problems on issues ranging from human rights to education.

Elizabeth Diing Manyang
Elizabeth Diing Manyang
December 10, 2019

We are proud to note that among the six GW students selected for the 2020 program of Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), is a SEAS sophomore, Elizabeth Diing Manyang. Elizabeth's educational commitment is titled "Me4Her," and she tells her poignant story below.

“While growing up, I received many scornful eyes from those against my education. Many girls were encouraged to stay at home and learn how to become good wives. Those that refused to stop attending school either got impregnated or forcefully married off. They were not allowed to make choices due to culturally embedded beliefs. As a result of all these happenings, I felt a moral responsibility to create a platform where girls could hear from women from their own communities who have made it into universities and are succeeding. Sharing stories will help them relate and motivate them to dream beyond the walls in the camp.” 

The higher education program under former President Bill Clinton’s foundation began in 2007 and incorporates year-round programming and mentorship networks. Students selected for CGI U select commitments to take action across five focus areas: education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation and public health.

CGI U hosts an annual student meeting at different universities around the world to bring together students and national youth organizations. GW hosted the student meeting in 2012, which featured plenary and working sessions for participants to work together and find solutions to global issues.

Many of the GW students selected for the 2020 CGI U aim to address problems in education, peace and human rights for women and youth around the world at this year’s meeting at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. The 2020 meeting will be held from April 17-19 and will be the first meeting in the program’s history held outside of the U.S.

The five other amazing GW women selected for the CGI U are:

Diana Aguilera, Graduate student pursuing a Master of Public Policy, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration
Commitment Name: Women’s Experiences
Commitment Focus Area: Peace and Human Rights

Mesoun Hassam, First Year, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences
Commitment Name: Post Revolution: Sudan’s Sustainable Human Rights System 
Commitment Focus Area: Peace and Human Rights

Zaniya Lewis, Senior pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences
Commitment Name: YesSheCanCampaign: The Climb Is Our Story
Commitment Focus Area: Education

Rachel Onianwah, Graduate student pursuing a Master of Arts in Political Management, Graduate School of Political Management
Commitment Name: How Lack of Accessibility Creates Generational Poverty 
Commitment Focus Area: Poverty Alleviation

Divya Rath, Sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences
Commitment Name: Global Guru: Education for All
Commitment Focus Area: Education