Yousafzai’s first public address will be given on Malala Day – her 16th birthday – on July 12 in New York.
According to the Nation, “UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown announced on Friday that Malala is determined to continue campaigning for girls’ education and will speak to a specially convened meeting of young people from around the world at the United Nations. Her first public address is being organised by Gordon Brown along with President of UN General Assembly Vuk Jeremic.”
Here’s a video of Yousafzai’s November 2, 2011 speech, courtesy of the Guardian.
Despite her age, she displays the courage to stand, not only as herself, but as a representative of all girls hungry for education. This kind of leadership is easy to market, because her courage, her ability to speak for herself and others, her willingness to be simply present, to say what she deeply believes — all these things mark the kind of deep authenticity that only the most transformative leaders demonstrate.
It is not an authenticity of identity, but of action. Her words, her conviction, and her determination combine to make her a formidable force in the world. If she had died in the terrorist attack on her life, her leadership would have changed the way we understand the world.
It is fitting that Yousafzai address young people in an international gathering at the UN. She is not afraid to be:
My hope for all of us is to choose the moments when we can stand, as she has, in the light of truth, forgetting our fear and speaking from the core of our being, for ourselves and others. This is the spirit of leadership, in whatever community or organization, whether we call it aloha or shalom or salaam. All three of these words mean:
- To make amends
- To make good
- To be (or to make) peace
- To restore