This week, we're raising a glass to Pakistani activist and Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who will be attending Oxford University in the fall.

World

8.18.2017

This Week in Women: Malala, Oxford, And The ACLU Resistance

This weekend, white supremacists and Nazis assaulted the American conscious as violence broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia during a “Unite the Right” rally. One counter protester, Heather Heyer, was killed and 19 others were injured when a car was driven by a white supremacist into a crowd of people. In addition, two police officers died in a helicopter crash while actively monitoring the increasingly violent mobs.

In these strange times—reeling with hurt, anger, and anxiety—there has been leadership that hasn’t failed us. Public figures, such as 44th President Obama, Senator Kamala Harris, and Van Jones, are finding ways to communicate messages of hope and resilience. “We are defined by the roles we play. Because Heather Heyer was killed at the scene, her legacy has been defined. But what about those of us who survived? Will we take the steps necessary to engage one another in real dialogue so that we do not get locked into these roles? Each of our legacies is defined by what we do now,” said Elena Quintana, Executive Director of Adler University’s Institute of Public Safety & Social Justice. “You can go from bystander to bridge builder, or from victim to educator. Most importantly, this is our invitation to go from seeing things simply to accepting the challenge to engage in the complexity of our mutual humanity. In good times and in bad, the deepest truth is that we belong to each other.”

Even University of Virginia and SNL alum Tina Fey visited Summer Edition: Weekend Update last night to give us “sheetcaking” and brutally slay “Unite the Right” protesters with this epic takedown.

Vigils were held across the country this week in remembrance of the victims and to show peace, unity and strength. One of the best ways to continue to be proactive and supportive in the wake of Charlottesville is to donate to anti-hate charities and organizations, such as Southern Poverty Law Center, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and Anti-Defamation League. The Women’s March also publicized an invitation to The Women’s Convention in Detroit, Michigan this October for “for a weekend of workshops, strategy sessions, inspiring forums and intersectional movement building to continue the preparation going into the 2018 midterm elections.”

Ready to read about more acts of defiance against discrimination? It’s time for This Week in Women!

ACLU of Georgia Fights for Woman Who Got Her Period at Work 

The ACLU and co-counsel Buckley Beal LLP have filed a brief in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals against the Bobby Dodd Institute for “blatant discrimination against women in the workplace.”

Alisha Coleman, a George resident and former 911 call taker for the Bobby Dodd Institute, was unfairly fired after getting her period at work. “I loved my job at the 911 call center because I got to help people,” said Coleman in an ACLU statement. “Every woman dreads getting period symptoms when they’re not expecting them, but I never thought I could be fired for it. Getting fired for an accidental period leak was humiliating. I don’t want any woman to have to go through what I did, so I’m fighting back.”

New ‘Persist’ Statue Arrives in California

The “Fearless Girl” has a sister on the West Coast, who has taken up residence on top of the California Democratic Party’s (CADEM) office building roof in Sacramento, California. Titled “Persist”, the 400-pound bronze statue is another demonstration of the eponymous symbol against gender discrimination. “We wanted something that little girls can look up to,” said Democratic strategist Dana Williamson. “They can literally look up and be inspired.”

Malala Yousafzai will be Attending Oxford 

Pakistani activist and Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai is a leading voice for young girls’ educational opportunities and women’s equality across the globe. Yousafzai was shot by a Taliban gunman in 2012 riding the bus home from an exam, and since the event, her survival and continued advocacy has inspired millions of people.

On Thursday, Yousafzai announced that she will be furthering her education by attending Oxford University to study philosophy, politics, and economics (PPE). She tweeted a snapshot of her acceptance status with the following, “So excited to go to Oxford!! Well done to all A-level students – the hardest year. Best wishes for life ahead!”

Pakistani alumnus of Oxford University, Ayesha Marri, told The New York Times: “Young girls need to see real-life examples of what they can become; they need to be inspired.”

Featured image via Parade

Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.

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