The National Constitution Center will present its Liberty Medal to a 17-year-old girl from Pakistan who survived an attack from the Taliban.
Malala Yousafzai will be the youngest person to ever receive the annual award.
Most people know Malala Yousafzai as the Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban because she wanted to go to school. She may not have the name recognition of Steven Spielberg or Muhammad Ali, but the center’s chief operating officer Vince Stango says Yousafzai embodies the ideals of the Constitution.
“On their own, one person, with one voice, can really make a difference,” said Stango. “That’s speaks to the story we tell at the Constitution Center. She’s done so much to raise awareness for education of young girls around the world. We thought she was an inspired choice.”
When she was just 12 years old, living near the Afghanistan border, Yousafzai was asked by the BBC to contribute blog posts about the Taliban’s refusal to allow girls to be educated. Three years later, she was shot in the head by the Taliban.
She then wrote a book, “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.” At the age of 16, she was short-listed for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Stango says her story is tied to ideas such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the right to peacefully assemble. The Constitution Center will award Yousafzai the medal during a ceremony on Oct. 21.