Malala Yousafzai Announced as 2017 WONK of the Year

Malala Yousafzai has been named 2017 Wonk of the Year. The influential activist who has advocated fearlessly for girls’ education will be coming to AU to speak on September 25th in Bender Arena.

Malala is a champion of education for young women. She grew up in Swat Valley, Pakistan, and expressed her love for learning at an early age. When, in 2007, Taliban militants took control of Swat and banned girls from going to school, Malala began blogging on BBC about her experiences. After the Pakistani army took back Swat, Malala began to publicly advocate for girls’ education. In 2012, Malala was targeted by the Taliban and shot on her school bus home from class. After recovering from the harrowing attack, Malala went on to bravely continue her advocacy.

Malala has been bestowed multiple honors for her work. In 2013, The U.N. declared July 12th “Malala Day” to bring attention to girls’ education. The same year she published her book entitled I Am Malala about her journey. In 2014, not only did she win the Nobel Peace Prize for her commitment to the rights to education, but she was also named to TIME Magazine’s Most Influential Teens and 100 Most Influential People. This year, she announced she would be attending Oxford University. To this day, Malala continues her influential work, recently advocating for Syrian refugees.

The event will be moderated by AU President Sylvia Burwell who will run a question-and-answer with Malala. AUSG’s Kennedy Political Union is running the event which is co-sponsored by AUSG Women’s Initiative and the Muslim Student Association. Tickets will first go on sale tomorrow at 7 pm. They are free to AU students.

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