Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who turns 19 today, was inspired to become an activist for girls’ education by her father. As a teacher in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, Ziauddin Yousafzai kept his own school open despite threats from the Taliban.
Kansas Citians will soon have a chance to hear from both father and daughter, who will be the keynote speakers for the nearly sold-out Chat 2.0, a “mission-driven speaker series,” on July 19 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
Malala is famous for her education activism, for which she became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. Inspired by her experience as a young woman in Pakistan under the rule of the Taliban, she spoke out for girls’ education in a country where that right was constantly under fire. She continued to attend school despite threats made against her, rising to the top of her class and traveling through Pakistan to speak about her campaign.
She made international headlines when she was shot in the head at the age of 15 by a Taliban supporter in October 2012. Flown to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, she underwent several surgeries and survived. She began attending high school in Birmingham and, in 2013, co-founded the Malala Fund with her father to bring awareness to the need for girls’ education around the world.
She has written a book about her experiences, titled “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban.” In it, she writes:
“Let us pick up our books and our pens. … They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”
In Kansas City, Malala and her father will address their continuing fight for global education for girls — specifically, 12 years of safe, quality education. They will also hold a Q&A with audience members.
Chat 2.0, sponsored by Bishop-McCann, will focus on education equality and the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in the local community. A few tickets are still available, starting at $69.
Kate Miller: 816-234-4077, @_Kate_Miller_
Malala Yousafzai at Chat 2.0
The Nobel Peace Prize winner and her activist father will speak at 7 p.m. July 19 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets start at $69. chatseries.com.