Monday, April 7, 2014

I Am Malala- Inspiring Girls In Homeless Shelters

As some of you may know I've been asking friends to donate one book in particular for my workshops with teenage girls in the NYC shelter system. That book is I Am Malala, The Girl That Was Shot In Her Head By The Taliban

One day, while doing my standard workshop, I decided to change the flow and read a few paragraphs from this book. While reading, I noticed some of the girls were in shock, some had tears in their eyes, but I had their full attention. They were in awe that a 16 year-old girl would stand up to the Taliban because she believed in education for all.

When I was done there was a silence. The girls were inspired that someone their own age could be so brave. Words cannot describe their faces in that moment.

I then asked, “Is there anything they would like to see changed in their communities?” Before I could finish, one girl shouted "Gun violence!"  "More support for teen moms raising a child," said another. Then one tiny 12 year-old girl said, "…bullying against children who live in homeless shelters." My heart literally broke.

Next I asked them, "Do you think you have the power to change these things?” I could see the frustration in their faces as they thought about the question.

We discussed ways each girl could inspire friends and their families to help create ideas to make a change. We discussed the power of organizing within the shelter to create a stronger, unified voice.

In the end I gave each girl a copy of the book. They were ecstatic!

So far I have done two workshops using this book to inspire girls at two
different shelters. I hope to get more copies and spread her message to even more

Want to know more about Malala? Here's a video of Malala’s interview on John Stewart’s, The Daily Show. It’s pretty incredible.


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