15 students attend Clinton Global Initiative in Washington, D.C.

Tiesha Anderson ’14 (Germantown, Md.) was expecting another run-of-the-mill conference when she joined 14 other Marietta College students for the Clinton Global Initiative in Washington, D.C.


It didn’t take long for her to alter her initial predisposition.


“Before we left for D.C. I thought this trip would be just like a regular conference that you would see in a hotel, with over-achieving students, long all-day sessions, and information that is not that useful at the moment,” she said. “When I arrived and went to the first session, I quickly figured out that my first impression was very wrong.”


Anderson said she met many college students, like herself, who desired to make a positive change in the world as well and that the information she received was important and helpful. 


Anderson was part of a new program at Marietta College, called the Social Justice  Leadership Institute. It features the class “Leadership for Social Justice,” that is taught by Arielle Jennings, Director of Civic Engagement Office.


Students take a one-credit course in the fall and a two-credit course in the spring during which time they attend this conference. In the summer they attend an eight-day immersion program in Chicago to learn from organizations and leaders promoting social justice. In Washington, D.C., the participants heard from very prominent leaders like former President Clinton, Jon Stewart of The Daily Show and singer Usher.


Jennings said the students participated in sessions that talked about how to make social change and address some of the pressing issues of today.


“The conference was very beneficial for the students. They were surrounded by students as well as leaders from across the globe engaging in meaningful social justice work,” Jennings said. “I think this was very encouraging and inspiring for students because they see that they are part of a larger whole of the many people engaging in the fight for social justice.”


The mission behind the Clinton Global Initiative is to inspire, connect and empower a community of global leaders to forge solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Established in 2005, it has brought together a number of areas in American Society. These groups include more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media.


“We got the chance to go out to a DC community and while some of the students were filling boxes for the USO, I was one of the ones to go out and help people of this rundown poverty driven community and help them fix up their home,” said Jessica Johnson ’14 (Johnstown, Ohio). “It was one of the best experiences of my life interacting with these people and working beside them to better their community.”


The other students who attended were: Kambey Akari ’14 (Tunis, Tunisia), Malik Birks ’15 (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Lauren Currie ’13 (Lockport, N.Y.), Dan Hartman ’13 (Cincinnati, Ohio), Laura Keating ’15 (Buckhannon, W.Va.), Elizabeth Luckenbaugh ’14 (Akron, Ohio), Tawny Mutchler ’14 (Bucyrus, Ohio), Jiaxin Quan ’13 (Inner Mongolia, China), Monica Short ’15 (Woodstock, Md.), Chelsea Smith ’15 (Vincent, Ohio), Sam Thomas ’13 (Lorain, Ohio), Lydia Tillmaand ’13 (Xenia, Ohio) and Raven Tyler ’13 (Randallstown, Md.).