Malala Yousafzai to lead off Distinguished Speaker Series


Published June 6, 2017

Human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai will speak at UB on Sept. 19 in Alumni Arena as the first speaker in the 31st annual Distinguished Speakers Series.

Tickets are not yet available for sale pending completion of the entire series schedule, which is expected to be finalized later this month.

A champion since the age of 10 of the right for girls to receive an education, Malala made headlines when she was shot by the Taliban in 2012 at the age of 15 while traveling home from school on the bus with her friends in Pakistan.

Now living with her family in Birmingham, England, she is internationally known for her courage in refusing to be silenced and continues to campaign for the right of every child to go to school.

Malala is the co-recipient with Kailash Satyarthi of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle against the suppression of children and young people and children’s educational rights. Aged 17 at the time, she was the youngest ever to receive the Nobel Prize.

“We are delighted that Malala Yousafzai will be headlining the 31st season of our Distinguished Speakers Series,” says President Satish K. Tripathi. “Renowned across the globe for her courage and convictions, Malala offers our university and our community the opportunity to engage with one of the foremost advocates for the education of girls and young women.

“Her visit to UB will mark the seventh appearance by a Nobel Peace Prize laureate in the Distinguished Speakers Series,” he notes, “and will continue our proud tradition of bringing compelling public figures to campus to spark provocative discussions about the defining issues of our time.”

In April of this year, Malala received honorary Canadian citizenship — only the sixth person and the youngest to receive the honor — and also became the youngest person to address the House of Commons of Canada. In addition, this year she became the youngest person ever to become a United Nations Messenger of Peace.

Malala was named to TIME Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2013, 2014 and 2015. In 2012, she was the recipient of Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize and the 2013 Sakharov Prize. 

She is the author of “I Am Malala” (2013), an international best-seller that has been translated into 40 languages.

Following the outpouring of support that Malala received after the Taliban’s attempt on her life in 2012, she set up an international fund — the Malala Fund — dedicated to promoting education for girls throughout the world.

To receive timely information about early-bird purchase opportunities for series subscriptions and Malala tickets, visit the Distinguished Speakers Series webpage and register at no charge to become a series patron.