"Our message today...to the millions around the world, is we see you. We hear you. We insist on your dignity and we share your belief that if just given the chance, you will forge a life equal to your talents and worthy of your dreams. Our fight against human trafficking is one of the great human rights causes of our time and the United States will continue to lead it, in partnership with you."
~President Barack Obama in his Special Remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative 2012
Over the past three days, the annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting, organized by former President Bill Clinton, brought a cross-sector crowd of global leaders to New York City. This year's theme was Designing for Impact, or how great design in all areas, from construction to phones, can and does play a crucial role in impacting the grand challenges facing society.
We were incredibly grateful to see President Barack Obama used his remarks to address the issue of human trafficking, an issue that CIL considers a pressing global grand challenge. As those who follow our activity are aware, CIL has been heavily focused on this issue through the FREEDOM, HERE + NOW: Ending Modern Slavery symposium in May and a series of ongoing conversations including one in July on the issue nationally and an upcoming one on October 18th on the issue in urban communities in Minnesota. In this 2-minute clip, President Obama speaks to the cross-sector implications of this issue:
There are design students and faculty here at the University of Minnesota already making the CGI theme of "designing for impact" a reality, exploring the role interior design of rooms and lobbies can play in curbing the trafficking that is known to take place in hotels. This is precisely the kind of cross-boundary ingenuity efforts like the Clinton Global Initiative are seeking to spark. We applaud the ongoing focus on integrative solutions to this issue here at the University of Minnesota and across the state. We also look forward to the visit from another speaker at the Clinton Global Initiative's meeting - anti-trafficking advocate Nicholas Kristof of the NY Times, who will be delivering the Humphrey School's Carlson Distinguished Lecture on October 25th.
Here are the next steps you can take to learn more and get involved:
View President Obama's full remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting (25 mins).
Join CIL, the University Research and Outreach-Engagement Center and the Northside Women's Space on the evening of Thursday, October 18th, for dinner and a conversation focusing on how North Minneapolis and other urban communities can take action steps to end sex trafficking in Minnesota. Visit
http://oct18criticalconvo.eventbrite.com/ or call 612-626-8762 for details and registration.
Register to attend year's Carlson Distinguished Lecture featuring Nicholas Kristof on Thursday, October 25th from 12 - 1 pm at Ted Mann Auditorium: http://kristofcarlsonlecture.eventbrite.com/