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Peace prize winner is Go Big Read author

October 10, 2014


TO: Media representatives
FROM: Jenny Price, 608-262-8296

Malala Yousafzai (YOU-chef-zy), author of this year’s Go Big Read selection, “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban,” is the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. At 17, the Pakistani activist is the youngest-ever Peace Prize winner.

“Malala’s story is about the value of doing something — anything, even when it’s scary and even when you’re not sure it’s the exact right solution — rather than sitting around feeling hopeless,” UW–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank said at the convocation for new students at the start of the fall semester. “And it’s about the power each one of us holds to make good things happen for ourselves and for those around us.”

This year, organizers for Go Big Read, UW’s common-reading program, encouraged the campus community to suggest titles that fit into a theme of service. The centerpiece of this year’s program is a public talk by Shiza Shahid (SHI-za SHA-hid), CEO and co-founder of the Malala Fund, which supports local entrepreneurs who have developed programs to increase educational access for women. She will give a public talk on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in Union South’s Varsity Hall.

The following UW–Madison contacts are available to speak with media today about “I Am Malala” and Go Big Read:

  • Sarah McDaniel, program manager for Go Big Read, can discuss the Go Big Read program, as well as how “I Am Malala” is being used in courses and discussions across campus and around the greater Madison community. She can be reached at 608-262-4308 or
  • Sarah Meinen Jedd is the associate course director for the public speaking course Communication Arts 100. She can discuss how the course’s 59 sections are using the book this semester. Students in the course are also reading Yousafzai’s speeches and watching her July 2013 address to the United Nations. She can be reached at 608-347-9627 or