A social media campaign, Students Stand #withMalala, is making 20,000 DVDs of He Named Me Malala available for free to teachers across the U.S. to use in their classroom. The 2015 film chronicles the life of eighteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and an outspoken advocate for girls’ education across the world.
The film was directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth and Waiting for Superman) and covers Malala’s life before and after being targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot when returning home on her school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley.
A companion discussion guide, curriculum, webinar, and student toolkit are also available online to extend the conversation in the classroom on issues of inequity, access to education, and the power of raising one’s voice to advocate for justice.
The social media campaign is a collaboration between Participant Media and Malala Fund, who launched it in conjunction with the original release of the film to help empower young people around the world to stand up for every girl’s right to 12 years of quality education and to take action on behalf of girls globally. To date, the yearlong advocacy campaign has enabled more than 175,000 students globally to see He Named Me Malala for free in theaters and at screening events and raise their voices for all girls’ right to a free, safe, and quality education.
The campaign has had significant impact for educators who screened the film and brought Malala’s story into their classrooms.
According to one Chicago teacher, writing on the website DonorsChoose.org, “My students live in an encapsulated high-crime, high-poverty area of a large city. Their daily life is home, school and home again. No extracurricular activities—they’re not even able to play outside after school for safety and security issues…My students now understand the importance of standing up instead of remaining silent.”