The Collegian
Monday, August 08, 2022

Malala Fund co-founder to speak at Richmond

Malala Fund co-founder and global ambassador, Shiza Shahid, will speak at Richmond on Sunday about the importance of improving access to education for girls worldwide, her journey with Malala and her work with the Malala Fund.

Shahid was named one of TIME Magazine’s “30 Under 30 World Changers” in 2013, and appeared on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list of social entrepreneurs this year. Last week, Shahid was honored by Fortune Magazine as one of the “55 Most Influential Women on Twitter.”

Shahid’s path to success as co-founder and CEO of one of the fastest growing organizations in the world began when she was an undergraduate student at Stanford University. Shahid first saw Malala Yousafzai, a determined and eloquent 11-year-old girl living in a war-ridden area of Pakistan, when Malala appeared in a New York Times documentary in 2009. Shahid, who also grew up in Pakistan, contacted Malala’s father and set up a camp for Malala and other young Pakistani girls.

In 2012, Malala was shot by members of the Taliban and sent to a hospital in Birmingham, England. Shahid, who had been in contact with the teenage advocate since 2009, immediately flew to be with Malala during her recovery. There, the two young women had the idea to channel Malala’s global media attention toward her cause of female education. Together, Shahid and Malala started the Malala Fund, an organization that promotes and facilitates girls' education worldwide and immediately received an outpouring of support.

Malala, now 17 years old, has become one of the most well-known advocates for human rights and female education. Just last week she became the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize recipient for her work. Shahid has been by her side as her chief strategist and fellow advocate.

Shahid’s talk, “There Are No Superheroes, Just Us: My Journey With Malala,” will be at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, in Camp Concert Hall, Booker Hall of Music, as part of the Richmond Scholars Program, the Sharp Viewpoint Speaker Series. Shahid’s presentation is free and open to the public with a reception in Booth Lobby following the event.

The event received additional funding from the WILL Program and Westhampton College.

“The importance of educating and empowering girls worldwide is why WILL and WC are helping to sponsor Ms. Shahid,” Holly Blake, associate dean for women's education and development, wrote in an email. “Education vastly improves the lives and economic situation of girls globally.”

Contact reporter Rhiannon Bell at

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