Need Volunteers for Global Citizenship Initiative

Campus Update

Chancellor Block invites the campus community to join a new initiative highlighting local and global citizenship efforts.

I am writing to invite you to take part in creating an exciting new tradition at UCLA.

Each fall before classes begin, we greet new freshmen and transfer students to campus during True Bruin Welcome Week.  Beginning this year, Welcome Week will take on an important new focus, as we promote dedication to service as part of the UCLA True Bruin identity.

One of the week’s signature events will take place on Tuesday, September 22, 2009. The first-ever UCLA Volunteer Day will be one of the largest community engagement projects ever held by an institution of higher education. Organized by the new UCLA Volunteer Center, the event will send 5,000 new students to eight sites throughout Los Angeles County.

On the following day, Wednesday, September 23, all incoming first-year and transfer students will participate in the Global Citizenship Initiative.  Students will meet in groups to discuss Tracy Kidder’s remarkable book, Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World, which follows Dr. Farmer’s fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

Because of your dedication to our community, I would be delighted for you to lead one of these discussion groups by serving as a Global Ambassador.  Sharing your personal experiences in local and global citizenship with our new students would add an invaluable perspective to the conversation — your insights would provide a real-world basis for students’ understanding of the book and show them some of the many ways to apply service in their daily lives.

Discussions will take place at UCLA residence halls between 4:30pm and 8:15pm on Wednesday. We are asking ambassadors for an hour and half of their time, which includes a brief orientation and an hour-long student-led book group; we will provide dinner and parking.

The Global Ambassadors will be a diverse group of invited faculty, staff, student and community leaders drawn from many different fields, and I hope you will be among them. To participate in this new program or learn more about it, please e-mail ( or call (310-794-9058) Cathryn Dhanatya in the Art Global Health Center at UCLA by September 16.  You may also visit the Global Citizenship Initiative website.

Thank you for your contributions to our community and your continued support of UCLA.