This event marks the beginning of the fourth and final year of the Kenneth Cole Community Engagement Program, a collaboration between Columbia University and fashion industry executive Kenneth Cole. This exciting initiative serves to inspire and empower the next generation of community leaders by engaging students through fellowships in community-building initiatives in combination with intellectual and academic work in the classroom. The Spring Forum will focus on important social issues of the day by highlighting innovative ways through which to address critical local problems, encourage social action, and build community capacity.
Kenneth Cole Fellows are required to complete one academic requirement and a spring seminar series, and engage in a paid summer internship project within a local organization to work with community partners to address local problems and encourage social action and change. Internship sites for 2013 included Fortune Society, Harlem Seeds, New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and Startup Box: South Bronx.
“It has been an extraordinary four years working with Columbia and their student body. I have been inspired by every fellow and their commitment to make our world a better place. I hope this program has helped provide useful skills for these future "change agents" and help focus them on their journeys. While this program is coming to an end, I look forward to starting a new partnership with Columbia next year that will hopefully touch even more students,” said Kenneth Cole.
“The Kenneth Cole Community Engagement Program at Columbia University has continued to have a profound effect on the students involved each year. The Kenneth Cole Forum brings to the entire campus community the program’s mission to inspire and empower the next generation of community leaders by exposing them to the challenges and opportunities for community building in today’s society. We are honored that Chelsea shares this enthusiasm and will lead the conversation at this year’s event on the current generation's commitment to action and their ability to effect real change,” said Todd Smith-Bergollo Interim Dean of Community Development and Multicultural Affairs.
Chelsea focuses especially on the Clinton Foundation's health programs, including the Clinton Health Access Initiative, which strengthens health care and access to lifesaving services in the developing world; the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which fights childhood obesity in the United States; and the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, which addresses preventable disease in the United States. She also established – and continues to lead – the Clinton Foundation Day of Action program, which identifies and organizes meaningful service opportunities for people across the country. As one of the strongest champions of the Clinton Global Initiative University, Chelsea works to empower the next generation of change makers to take action on some of the world's most urgent challenges. And through the Clinton Foundation Millennium Network, she plays an integral role in inspiring young leaders and philanthropists to get involved in the work of the Foundation.
The Kenneth Cole Community Engagement Program Spring Forum will take place on at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 26, in the Roone Arledge Cinema in Alfred Lerner Hall at Columbia University. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. RSVP is required.