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Azure Antoinette speaks on International Day of the Girl | 10x10

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We come out of the womb with huge dreams. Like having popsicles every days, or eating ice cream for breakfast. Or spaceships over midday skies. We all dream of the impact, and hope we're not too jaded to feel it when it comes. But at some point, we all donned our parents' work clothes and stomped through the house We folded up copy paper, and pretended that we were personally flying 747s through the air. We used arm maneuvers... ...carefully accessorized with 'zoom' sounds to create the effect of a speeding airplane. We used to talk about saving the world before dinner, from a fort in the living room, with 300-count sheets. Most would agree that wanting to change the world is in our DNA. It is centered in our imagination. See, the power to be part of the solution to a persistent problem conjures the kind of hope that we had... ...when we still believed in people who could fly in the dead of night: Santas and tooth fairies. When you see the passion of Ruksana, Azmeera, Sokha, and Senna, it makes you realize that you aren't saving them. It makes you realize that your contribution to their success is changing the very world that we all live in. The sheer defiance of hope in Wadley's eyes, and Yasmin's courage, and Suma's quiet song lets me know that the dreams I had as a... ...five year old astronaut/singer/lawyer/veternarian...who was going to save the world as her day job is still quite possible. Suma's perseverance in Nepal tells me that I really should just stop for a second and say, "Thank you." That I really shouldn't feel privileged to help out, because, in truth, I am one that's receiving a gift. The basic math is this: Girls + Education = A Better World. It equals health, safety, and prosperity. Simply stated, that if girls are educated, the nations they reside in will have an elevated GDP. Elegantly put, the more education she receives, the more she is going to earn as an adult. She'll marry later, have fewer, and healthier children, and contribute to a country with a descending infant mortality rate. The positives of this equation go on and on. Basically, by educating girls, we all get to wear the emblem again. We get to wear the caped crusader garb, we get to fly up in the sky, and bring the imaginations that we'd all harnessed...back to life... they were sitting, making dust of all our childhood memories. And that's the basic truth, that's the basic math. At the end of the day, I really just want to travel to a land that doesn't need any pity. Just support. And maybe, just maybe, Ruksana will show me around shanty towns with terracotta colored clay for streets, and she can tell me stories of her lineage that doesn't involve sex trafficking... and prearranged marriages, and all the nightmares that strip a girl of the superhero that's inside of her being. You gotta see the faces of Suma, Mariana, Lydia, and Farah, and I promise that you'll know that we can accomplish what we believed as toddlers... our capes and rain boots and tutus. The young girls of 10x10 are like unpredictable sunsets and rainbows. The joy inbetween the words that they don't say, assures me that I should pitch in, that I should roll up my sleeves, that I should jump in head first, and that I should say 'yes', to the basic math. Singlehandedly, the stories that lie in the chests of ten girls reconfirm my desire to find my cape again. To look up at the midnight sky, and want to rid the world of its indifference, and makes me want to fly up to the constellations and polish the stars, because they just don't shine the way they used to. Until 10x10, I had forgotten that changing the world was something that I used to think was possible. Until tonight, I had forgotten that it used to be my dream, too. Thank you.

Video Details

Team: Girl Rising
Duration: 4 minutes and 35 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: All rights reserved
Producer: Martha Adams, Tom Yellin, Richard Robbins
Director: Richard E. Robbins
Views: 72
Posted by: girlrising on Feb 6, 2014

Azure Antoinette is a notable force in the arts and women/girl empowerment world. She founded an arts-in-education program that provides custom poetry workshops for teen girls, teaching them how they can impact the world around them. Named among Forbes Magazine's 100 Most Powerful Women in the World, she is someone worth hearing -- and sharing!

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