#17for17: Advocating for Girls' Education
For my 17th birthday, I hosted a virtual event bringing together 17 speakers representing 17 countries to stand in solidarity with girls around the world.
Advancing the girls' education agenda requires involving a wide range of stake-holders. It is my pleasure to host this diverse group of advocates and leaders.
CEO, Malala Fund
Suzanne is CEO of the Malala Fund; previously President and CEO of PAI, a nonprofit advocating for universal access to reproductive health care.
Head of Secretariat, UNGEI
As Head of the Secretariat at the UN Girls' Education Initiative (hosted by UNICEF), Nora has led a number of global campaigns to advance critical gender issues in education.
Director, Girls Opportunity Alliance
Tiffany currently serves as the Director of Global Girls’ Education at the Obama Foundation, for former First Lady Michelle
Obama’s adolescent girls’ empowerment program. Previously, she came to the White House to help launch the President and First Lady’s girls’ education initiative, Let Girls Learn, and served for two years as a Senior Advisor to Mrs. Obama.
Dr. Rania Al-Mashat
Minister of International Cooperation, Egypt
Former Minister of Tourism, Egypt. Former Adviser to the Chief Economist, International Monetary Fund (IMF). YGL at World Economic Forum; PhD and MA in Economics, University of Maryland, USA.
Maryam & Nivaal Rehman
Founders, The World with MNR
Through their non-profit The World with MNR, the twin activists and journalists have covered events including the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. and have interviewed global figures including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, and Madame Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank.
Tech Inventor, UAE
A tech inventor, Fatima has a passion for creativity and innovation. Recognized as the youngest Emirati inventor in 2015, Fatima has received many awards including winning the Robot Olympics in 2014, and the Arab Award for the Best 10 Inventors and Innovators of 2015.
Author, The Girl With The Louding Voice
NYT bestselling author, Abi grew up in Lagos, Nigeria and has lived in the UK for 18 years. Her book The Girl with the Louding Voice has won multiple book awards. In addition to writing, Abi studied law and International Project Management.
Board Member, Educate Girls
At Wix.com, we are dedicated to stepping up our efforts in addressing this issue. Support is by no means an easy feat, but through cooperation and community empowerment we believe we can facilitate progress in this area. We are always striving to make a difference, and invite you to learn more and lend your support.
Dr. Rebecca Gordon
Research Associate, University of Cambridge
Rebecca is a Research Fellow in Leadership for Inclusive and Democratic Politics at the University of Birmingham and recently completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge. Her research explores pathways for change in relation to girls education and the role of political leadership in supporting this.
Artist, Technologist, and Activist
Drue is CEO of Drue Kataoka Art Studios LLC and is known for her signature interactive and reflective visual mazes and experiences, which distort the perception of space-time. Her artwork Up! was featured in the first zero gravity art exhibit at the International Space Station. She is a Young Global Leader & Cultural Leader of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Author, Other Words for Home
Jasmine is the John Newbery Honor award winning author of Other Words For Home. Additionally, she is the author of young adult novels, My Heart and Other Black Holes and Here We Are Now. Her books have been published in over 25 countries.
Angelina is a Syrian-American harpist. Seven years ago she came with her mother to the United States from Aleppo, Syria. She loves sharing her music with others and performing for causes she believes in. Eventually, she would like to go to medical school and become a doctor, like her late father.
Founder, Ben-Hirki Foundation
Wadi Ben-Hirki is a passionate and award-winning development worker, writer and public speaker. She is the Founder of Wadi Ben-Hirki Foundation and works with UNGEI as a girls' rights activist. Her passion has led to her voice being heard on Aljazeera, BBC and Agence-France Presse among others.
Refugee and Human Rights Activist
A student refugee from northern Iraq, Nibras is currently studying economics and international relations at Creighton University. Nibras hopes to study international law post-graduation and aims to advocate for human rights and education.
Dr. Taniya Mishra
Director of AI Research, Affectiva
A speech scientist and AI researcher, Taniya is on a mission to develop the next generation of AI leaders and is deeply passionate about increasing gender-diversity in tech; PhD in computer science and speech processing from the OGI School of Science and Engineering.
Kavya is an incoming freshman at MIT who plans on studying computer science. Kavya founded a Girls Who Code chapter at her local high school and is very passionate about continuing to decrease the gender gap in tech.
Animator and Illustrator
Aurélia's wild variety of creations range from augmented reality, animations, paintings, murals, to illustrations, all a vivid celebration of diversity. Recently she illustrated the book "This book is anti-racist " through the publisher "Quarto kids" printed for the US, Canada, and the UK.
Executive Director of the Youth Activism Project
Anika received her MPP from Harvard Kennedy School in 2018 and is the founder and Executive Director of the Youth Activism Project. Her activism spans continents, from US, Ecuador and Nicaragua to Malaysia.
Co-founder, She Leads Africa
Afua Osei is a Co-Founder of She Leads Africa, a leading media brand focused on millennial African women reaching more than 700,000 women across the globe.
She is an expert in creating digital content and live experiences that impact a new generation of smart, ambitious women.
Founder, Girl Up Monterrey, Mexico
Mariana Anaya, age 19, is an IB alumni from Monterrey, Mexico currently majoring in Life Sciences at Université de Paris in Paris, France. Mariana co-founded Girl Up Monterrey, the first Girl Up club in her city, and the winner of Girl Up’s “Top Girl Up Club” in 2018.
Dr. Rana el Kaliouby
Co-founder and CEO, Affectiva
AI Scientist and Entrepreneur, Co-founder and CEO of Affectiva, an MIT spin-off. Author of Girl Decoded. Young Global Leader at WEF. PhD, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge. Proud mom of Jana.
l#17for17: Stay tuned throughout the day and engage with these inspiring speakers to hear about why they care about girls' education.
9:00 am - Kick off and Conversation with The Malala Fund
Suzanne Ehlers, CEO of the Malala Fund
Interviewed by Jana Amin
9:30 am - The Role of Political Leadership in Promoting Girls Education
Dr. Rebecca Gordon, Research Associate, University of Cambridge
10:00 am - Girls Education: A Government’s Perspective
Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation and Development, Egypt
Interviewed by Jana Amin
Empowering Girls through Technology and Innovation
Fatima Al Kaabi, Youngest Emirati Tech Inventor
Interviewed by Rana el Kaliouby, co-founder & CEO, Affectiva, Author of Girl Decoded
11:00 am - Sisters in Solidarity: Global Visions, Activist Realities
Nora Fyles, Head Secretariat UN Girls Education Initiative (UNGEI)
Mariana Anaya (Girl Up) and Wadi Ben-Hirki (Philanthropist)
Interviewed by Maryam & Nivaal, twin journalists and activists
11:30 am - Through the Eyes of a Novelist
Jasmine Warga, Author of Words For Home
Interviewed By Jana Amin
12:00 pm - Youth Art Block
Angelina, Syrian-American 15 year old Harpist
Aurélia Durand, Animator & Illustrator
12:30 pm - STEAM and COVID-19 impact
PART 1: Teaching Creativity, from STEM to STEAM by Drue Kataoka, Artist, technologist, activist
Part 2: COVID-19 Impacts by Vikas Pota, Board Member, Educate Girls. Lecturer at UCL Institute of Education
1:00 pm - Heart to Heart between a Mentor and a Mentee
Dr. Taniya Mishra, Director of Research, Affectiva
Kavya Anbarasu, Incoming freshman at MIT
1:30 pm - Finding Your Louding Voice
Abi Dare, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Girl With the Louding Voice
Interviewed by Afua Osei
2:00 pm: Youth Activism
Nibras Khudaida, Education Activist
Anika Manzoor, Executive Director, The Youth Activism Project
2:30 pm: A Conversation with the Girls Opportunity Alliance
Tiffany Drake, Executive Director, Girls Opportunity Alliance, The Obama Foundation
Interview by Jana Amin
3:00-3:15 pm: Close and Sing Happy Birthday for Jana
Join us in singing Happy Birthday for Jana’s 17th!
Celebrate 17 with me and in solidarity with girls globally!
It is estimated that 10 million fewer girls will return to school once the Covid-19 crisis has passed.
For my 17th birthday, I am hosting a virtual event on May 29th, bringing together 17 speakers representing 17+ countries to discuss the importance of girls' education. My goal is to raise awareness and help more girls go back to school next fall.
Please join me in celebrating my 17th birthday while standing in solidarity with girls around the world.
#17for17: Advocating for Girls' Education
May 29th, 9am-3pm ET. Streamed live on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and HERE.