09 March 2014

Lexington Teen Inspired by Girl Rising

Sixteen year-old Mahika left the Kentucky Theatre on a rainy evening several months ago determined to take action after seeing the film Girl Rising.  Upon leaving the theatre, Mahika's father told her--"talking is great, but taking action is even better."  The film and her father's statement spun Mahika into action, so for the past few months she and her friends worked to organize an event to take place around International Women's Day.

When Mahika emailed me a few weeks ago to tell me her plan, you can imagine my excitement knowing Girl Rising inspired her.  Indeed, the film did inspire young Mahikha and her friends to create, perform, and organize an event and performance.  Seventy five people from our Lexington community came together this afternoon at the Bharatiya Temple and Cultural Center to watch twenty young people (girls and boys) put on a production as part of a book drive designed to support the education of women and girls in underprivileged areas of our world.

 The event was superbly planned and the performances were fantastic.  Mahika and her friends carefully narrated the entire ninety-minute performance which included beautifully delivered monologues, world music with startling statistics presented on posters, slide shows of pictures of girls and women from around the world, a film clip from a school in India, and biographical sketches of young girls separated at birth with one girl telling her story of growing up in the United States and another girl telling the story of a sister who grew up in India.  The girls were careful to note the differences in living status, education, equality, and freedom because of one's home.

 A young 4th grader wrote and read an original poem inspired by the film.  A line from the poem that stayed with me--

 "we go to school to be educated and to live a free life..."

Lexington girls delivered speeches from memory by women from around the world including--

Malala Yousafzai
Sunitha Krishnan
Mother Theresea
Michelle Obama
Sonia Sotomayor
Harriet Van Meter

The transitions from sequence to sequence in the program were thoughtfully planned.  For example, the program transitioned from the monologues ending with the one by a Lexington girl delivering the words of Hariret Van Meter to a presentation by Dr. Vijayaraghavan speaking about International We Serve Foundation.  Mahika and her friends met with Dr. Vijayaraghavan to share their dream, and he realized Mahika and her friends shared his vision of promoting global prosperity to empower citizens.  When he rose to give his presentation, he was clearly moved by the inspiring program and performances of the young people at BTCC, as were we all.