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Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Screenshot of the event page

Women’s rights activist and youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai will speak to UF virtually on Nov. 18.

Accent Speakers Bureau, a UF Student Government agency, will host the hour-long event over Zoom. The event will be a 45-minute conversation between Yousafzai and UF journalism professor Moni Basu. It will end with 15 minutes of student Q&A.

As of 2:30 p.m. Monday, the day the event was announced, almost 150 UF students and employees registered as interested or going on the Student Government Facebook page.

Up to 3,000 students or employees can register for the event with their UFL email, Accent Chair Steven Wolf wrote in an email. 

“Ms. Yousafzai is one of the most inspiring and well-known figures around the world,” Wolf wrote. “She is an activist, author and the youngest laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize and accomplished all these feats before even graduating from Oxford University this past Spring.”

Yousafzai will speak on her life story, her international advocacy for girls’ education and the next steps of her career after graduating, Wolf added.

The 23-year-old Pakistani activist received a Nobel Peace Prize, a prestigious international award for social justice and peace, at 17 years old for her fight for girls access to education under the Taliban.

Her father was a teacher of an all-girl’s school in Mingora, Pakistan, according to the Nobel Prize website. In 2008, the Taliban rose in her city, bringing with them strict conservative laws and banning girls from education.

In 2009, Yousafzai began to speak up. She wrote anonymous blogs about her struggle on the BBC website and other online formats. She was displaced from her home by the roiling war, according to the website. Her voice grew and she and her father became public figures in Pakistan, where Yousafzai received accolades for her activism.

The Taliban shot Yousafzai in the left side of her head in 2012 while she was riding a school bus, according to the website.

A year later, Yousafzai recovered and continued her fight for girl’s education. In 2013, she began the Malala Fund, an international organization fighting for girl’s access to second education, and published her acclaimed autobiography “I Am Malala.”

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In her book, she recounted her life story and activism. The autobiography received international acclaim and was added to the curriculum of many high schools, though it has been banned from being taught in Pakistani private schools.

This is the fourth Accent event of the Fall semester. The bureau hosted Zoom events for professor and women’s rights activist Anita Hill, musician Prince Royce, and former Florida senators Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez

Hill was paid $30,000 in student fees and Royce $65,000. The two former senators spoke to UF for no charge. It is unclear how much Yousafzai will be paid for her appearance.

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Lianna Hubbard

Lianna Hubbard is a reporter for The Alligator’s Investigative Team. The UF women’s study major began as a freelance reporter three years ago. She founded her community college’s award-winning newspaper before beginning at The Independent Florida Alligator. See an issue in your community or a story at UF? Send tips to her Twitter.

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