A Call With Malala

Tonight on International Day Of The Girl, I tucked both my daughter and son to bed with visions of a world where all girls can paint their hopes and dreams in vivid color and light.

Hopes For International Day of the Girl

There is so much work that needs to be done. Globally there are 124 million children who are not in school and girls are first to be excluded. I recently shared my thoughts on the film “He Named Me Malala” and its power to inspire and engage the activist within everyone to join the film’s movement.  It has been a rewarding and enlightening project to participate in the film’s promotion – and a true honor to be granted a phone interview with Malala and other film ambassadors.

Fittingly introduced as “our fearless leader,” listening to Malala’s passion, purpose, and humility radiate through the phone lead me to tears.  She spoke of the amazing relationship with her father, teacher and founder of her Pakistani school – and his ability to instill in her that girls should have the right to education, independence, and forward thinking – despite the social climate.  “He did not clip my wings,” she said.  While Malala’s mother instilled wisdom saying “It is your duty to tell the truth, whatever happens don’t worry, tell the truth.”

A Phone Call with Malala

Malala continues to use her platform as an education advocate while drawing attention to crucial issues worldwide.  She described opening a school for Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon on her 18th birthday as one of the best days of her life and asked leaders to respond by “thinking about their own children.”

Let’s not forget her visits to Nigeria as part of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign and her Nobel Peace Prize win to which she said, “It was not that I won the Nobel Peace Prize – Children won it that year.”

A Phone Call With Malala

Malala had several message for girls: “It is important for girls to believe in themselves, there is no limit, they can do anything” and “it is important to know your responsibility and believe in yourself.”

On this International Day Of The Girl – join in the movement and stand #WithMalala. See the film, and engage in the conversation #WithMalala #HeNamedMeMalala.  Utilize this helpful parent discussion guide to talk about the film with kids.

I was not compensated for this post.  Second and third images via Fox Searchlight.


He Named Me Malala

Exactly three years ago this month, the world came to know fifteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai.  Her name was murmured over and over and over again – in prayer – in outcry – in hope for a full recovery from the gunshot wounds inflicted by the Taliban in an assassination attempt. All because she spoke for the right of education for all girls in her native Swat Valley of Pakistan.

Not only did Malala recover, but she also carried on with her courageous fight for girls education worldwide.  She became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize.  And her 18th birthday was marked by opening a school for Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon while calling on world leaders to invest in “books not bullets.”  Malala is passion and purpose personified.  She is truly a symbol of hope for social change and a pillar for girls’ and women’s rights worldwide.

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Her story is one that needs to be known and is compellingly captured by Oscar-winning documentary director Davis Guggenheim in the film He Named Me Malala.  The incredible film, newly in theaters, shares an intimate glimpse of Malala’s life – both public and private – with her family, as a student, as a teenager, and as a powerful activist.

He Named Me Malala

At this time, my young children don’t know Malala’s full story – but they do know her name and her devotion to education.  Someday they will read her book and see this film.  And perhaps one of the things that I love most about “He Named Me Malala” is the brilliant captures of ordinary life  – because this particular type of storytelling allows viewers to see the potential within themselves.


Watch the official trailor above and join in the conversation #WithMalala and #HeNamedMeMalala on Twitter and Instagram (@MalalaFund).  Stay in touch with Malala’s work via The Malala Fund.

I was not compensated for this post in any way.  It is an honor to be an ambassador to the film.   All images via Fox Searchlight.