Hillary Chybinski: Creating Change, One Voice at a Time: A Conversation With Malala

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Creating Change, One Voice at a Time: A Conversation With Malala

I have always believed that somewhere in each and every one of us, is the power to change the world. I'm not sure why I have always believed this, I grew up in a typical middle-class American home. While my parents were loving, supportive and encouraging, we weren't that family that have the fire to change the status-quo. My parents never discouraged me from speaking my mind or standing up for what I believed in, but we weren't marching in any parades or attending any rallies either.

Malala on Change #HeNamedMeMalala

As I've gotten older, with children of my own, I see just how powerful our beliefs can be. How we truly can change the world, one person, one voice, at a time. I had the incredible honor of participating in a conference call with Malala Yousafzai. As far as blogging opportunities go, this one was pretty mind-blowing for me.

I am sure you are familiar with Malala, the young girl who was shot for suggesting that girls should go to school in 2012. You may even know that she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

But did you know that she was getting over a cold on September 24th? Or that sometimes she thinks it's a challenge to have two younger brothers that can be a handful? Did you know that Malala blogged anonymously for the BBC when she was only 11 years old?

Malala on Family #HeNamedMeMalala

I didn't know any of these things, until our phone call. Our phone call - as if Malala and I were old friends, or new girlfriends, but her warm and welcoming manner, certainly made me feel as if we were (no matter that I am old enough to be her mother). She was soft-spoken, but sure of her words. She never veered from her belief that it could just as easily be YOUR voice that influences change. It could be my voice. Malala told us that there are no limits and that we should believe in ourselves.

Malala on Education #HeNamedMeMalala

Malala has a wonderful sense of humor, she told us that people believe she is big, but in reality, "she is only five feet, no, six feet minus 12 inches tall."  When they came to tell her about winning the Nobel Peace Prize, she was afraid she had done something wrong and gotten herself in trouble, quite the opposite. When asked about winning the prize, Malala told us that she didn't win it - ALL children won it that year.

Many of my blogging colleagues in various cities have had the opportunity to screen the film, but unfortunately, I have been unable to attend. The film opens on October 2nd in NYC and LA and then on October 9th nationwide. I plan to see it when it opens in my area for sure.

Still not sure if this powerful documentary is for you? Watch the trailer and see for yourself.

And if you want to stand #WithMalala, be sure to check out the Malala Fund,  created to raise girls' voices and ensure every girl has access to 12 years of quality secondary education.

catch you soon -

A post inspired by the new documentary, He Named Me Malala.


  1. I stand with Malala!! Great post!

  2. Oh wow, I am definitely putting this on my to-watch list. What a brave girl with such an important message. I would like to think that one voice can change the world!

  3. The movie was SO GOOD. I truly hope everyone goes to see it.