08 November 2013

Part III : An American Educator's Thoughts on Girl Rising

As the credits started to roll, applause from the audience started to ripple through The Kentucky Theatre.  Attendees at our Lexington screening of Girl Rising were moved by the creative storytelling and the startling statistics presented in the film.  A few people asked me "what's next?"  Others tweeted praise for the opportunity to learn about the issues and the need to bring change.

If you've been reading my blog posts, you already know that I have been moved by this film, and you also know how I've been working to make sure my community had an opportunity to see the film because I have hope that my community will also be moved and will take action to change lives and policies that impact education both in our country and around the world.

One school district over an hour away from Lexington loaded up 49 girls and brought them to the screening.  These girls were curious as they entered the beautiful and historic theater and were attentive and emotional as they watched the film.  I sat behind a row of girls who were shaking their heads when they saw the story of Yasmin from Egypt as written by Mona Eltahaway. Eltahaway uses her journalism experience and expertise to share Yasmin's story, with a hope that "education will be the ultimate reinvention for her."  My hope for the girls from Kentucky who watched the film is that they, too, will recognize the importance of education and that they will use their education to make a difference in the world.

Teenage girls were not the only attendees at the film screening, there were also educators and community members from Lexington and the surrounding areas.  Some said they attended because they are huge fans of the magazine Cake & Whiskey and heard about the viewing through the C&W Facebook page.  Others heard about the event via twitter or newspaper.  I knew many of the attendees through my circle of friends and colleagues, but there were also just as many people who I didn't know but must believe they care about the issues of equity in education and that's what drove them to be part of our rainy evening downtown at the Kentucky Theatre.


Thanks for reading the third in my series of posts about Girl Rising.  If you missed the first two posts you can read about how I shared the film with my pre-service teachers here or you can read text that was omitted from what I wrote for the magazine article here.

If you are planning to host your own screening, there are many resources available to assist you on the Girl Rising website, and I'll also share my opening remarks from Wednesday night.

What can you do?

• Sign up to be a community organizer to bring the Girl Rising film to your area

• Volunteer your time at an organization aimed at impacting girls’ education

• Take part in a book study reading about lives of girls in developing countries

• Donate money to the Girl Rising Campaign

• Share stories and get the message out to make sure people are exposed to what’s happening globally

• Blog about social change and taking action

• Visit girlrising.com to learn more about arranging a screening for your community, business, non-profit, church, or school