Shiza Shahid Inspires Action

Shiza Shahid Appeals to Audience to go Beyond Inspiration to Action

at the NCJW/Essex Opening Event

NCJW/Essex enjoyed a full house at the 2015 Opening Event on October 20, 2015 at Brooklake Country Club featuring Shiza Shahid, co-founder of the Malala Fund. Shahid posed the question, “What will you do with your one miraculous life?” to the audience, and encouraged attendees to realize the power within to create immense social change.

Shahid, this year’s keynote speaker for the NCJW/Essex yearly kick-off event, is an entrepreneur and advocate, passionate about leveraging philanthropy, venture capital, technology and the media to drive scalable social impact and women’s empowerment. Friend, advocate and global ambassador for Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani activist who, at 15-years-old dared to advocate for girls’ education and was shot by the Taliban in 2012, she co-founded the Malala Fund to empower girls through education and leadership around the world and led the organization as its founding CEO.

“There are no superheroes — just us,” Shahid remarked, as she implored people to find their purpose and act for a better world. At 25-years-old, the Stanford University graduate from Islamabad, Pakistan, has gained international recognition as a social entrepreneur who has made it her life’s work to drive social change and invest in others who are passionate about marching forward for global progress.

Also speaking at the program was Charity Haygood, Principal of the BRICK Avon Academy in Newark, who spoke from the heart about what inspires her to push for quality education for all. The BRICK model – Building Responsible Intelligent Creative Kids – infuses the characteristics of the highest performing urban schools into historically failing schools, unlocking the potential of every student. The BRICK Avon Academy is one of four locations housing the NCJW/Essex Kids Emergency Closet, providing essential items of clothing to children in need throughout the year.

“NCJW/Essex embodies the message that both these women asserted – that when people find their purpose and live intentionally they can make progressive strides in our society,” said Deborah Legow Schatz, president NCJW/Essex. “There is plenty of work to do — right here in Essex County and in the world in which we live. NCJW/Essex can help anyone who wants to get involved to go beyond inspiration to action.”