Updated: Aug 22, 2019
Maryam and Nivaal Rehman | Toronto, Canada
We had the pleasure of attending the Girl Up Leadership Summit again this year in Washington D.C. The summit took place from July 15th-17th this year, and we had a great time meeting so many girls from around the world at this amazing event. Here is a vlog we created with highlights from the summit this year:
On our first day, we arrived a little later than we expected because our flight was cancelled and rescheduled, but we had a great time attending the workshop of Julie Carrier, who is recognized as America's top speaker for young women! Her workshop focused on how we can overcome a stone-age system in our brain that causes "automatic negative chatter," or the voice in our brain telling us why we shouldn't go out of our comfort zone to achieve something.
On the second day of the summit, we got a chance to interview the very inspiring Ambassador Melanne Verveer and conduct a fireside chat with her on-stage. We spoke about the importance of including girls and women in conversations of peace and conflict resolution, her own work as the US Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, and much more. We were really excited to be on-stage for the first time at the Girl Up Leadership summit, and had a great time because the audience was so supportive! Here is a video of the full interview:
We also had a great time visiting the National Archives and seeing the “Rightfully Hers” exhibit, which featured the struggles of women in America as they fought for the right to vote!
The evening included a fireside chat on-stage with award-winning journalist Soledad O'Brien, a tour of the exhibit, and an ice cream social!
We were really tired by the end of the day, but we learned so much and we had a great time overall. We spent the evening with our Girl Up Canada team, including regional leader Tehreem Fatima, who is an incredible activist, and uses social media to raise awareness about many different issues.
Finally, we had an incredible time during our Advocacy Day with a formidable group of girls from around the world!
We visited the House of Representatives and the Senate to meet with several senators and congressmen/women to advocate for the “Keeping Girls in School Act”. We also spoke about our experiences working for girls’ education in Pakistan 🇵🇰.
One of the highlights of our day was meeting Representative Ayanna Pressley. She was the keynote speaker during the second day of the Leadership Summit and we can’t believe we were able to meet her later at the House Office Building. We also visited the offices of various senators and congresswomen who inspire us, like Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders (whose full name is "Bernard Sanders" - we found out when we visited his office).
Overall, our experience at the Girl Up Leadership Summit this year was amazing, and we're so happy that we got to share it with all of you!