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Malala 2014

Malala Yousafzai named 2017 Wonk of the Year

American University will host Nobel Peace Prize recipient later this month

The Kennedy Political Union has named Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and education activist, the 2017 Wonk of the Year. She will speak in Bender Arena on Sept. 25, beginning at 8:15 p.m., according to a KPU press release.

Yousafzai is from northern Pakistan and was shot by the Taliban when she was 15 years old while coming home from school. Once she recovered, she traveled the globe as an advocate for girls’ education.

She was named one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World” by TIME magazine and released her best-selling book, “I Am Malala" in 2013. In 2014, she won the Nobel Peace Prize.

“Malala is internationally known for her courage and advancing the right of everyone to receive an education,” Shyheim Snead, director of Kennedy Political Union, said in a statement. “She is one of the most inspirational and influential leaders of our generation and embodies the integrity and values that the community aims to achieve.”

KPU will offer free tickets for students on Eventbrite at the following times:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept 14 at 10:30 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Sept 15 at 7:30 a.m.

The event, which is co-sponsored by the Muslim Student Association and Women's Initiative, will be presented and moderated by University President Sylvia Burwell. Yousafzai is the fifth recipient of the Wonk of the Year award, with former Democratic National Convention chairwoman Donna Brazile taking the prize in 2016. 

Wonk of the Year is given to someone who demonstrates "engagement, focus, intelligence and passion," according to the KPU release. The event was pushed back to the fall semester after KPU faced scheduling conflicts in April. 

“It is truly an honor to host Malala Yousafzai on our campus,” Burwell said in a statement. “She’s an incredibly brave individual with demonstrated commitment to meaningful change … The AU community is excited to celebrate her courageous and remarkable story.”

As the semester comes to an end and one of the founding members leaves American University, Section 202 has decided to take a trip down memory lane. For our fans, old and new, who are wondering how Section 202 came to be, this episode is a must. Listen along as hosts Connor Sturniolo and Liah Argiropoulos reminisce about the beginning of Section 202 and how it got to where it is now.

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