By Patrick Daugherty
I chose Malala Yousafzai because I believe she is the living embodiment of what it means to stand against oppression. The simple act of receiving an education was considered rebellious for women in Pakistan.
Despite the relentless danger lurking among the region, she carried on with her education. Malala nearly paid the ultimate price for pursuing an education, when she was brutally attacked by the Taliban, on the 9th of October 2012. The Taliban attempted to silence Malala permanently with a bullet to her head, but Malala survived the gunshot wound, and would go on to become the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Her activism for women’s rights and severe criticism of oppressive governments has energized an entire generation of activists fighting for women’s equality. Malala reminds us about the pedestal we stand on when we receive our education, how lucky we are to only have to worry about the fragile fabrics of reality that make up the college student psyche.
She is a breathing reminder to the privileged educated class that we must never settle for oppression, and must endlessly fight the treacherous battle for educational equality no matter what flag we fly.