"Education: Igniting the Flames of Change"
2014 Sam and Marilyn Fox ATLAS Week Program
March 31 - April 4, 2014
The Fourteenth Annual Sam and Marilyn Fox Atlas Week program will be held the week of March 31st - April 4th,, 2014. One of the main goals of the Atlas Program is to increase awareness of the global issues that confront us today in an effort not only to promote discussion, but also to inspire and inform action. It focuses on what we as global citizens can do to contribute to a better life for all people now and in the future. The Atlas Program is unique in that for one week of the year, it brings together members of the University community to focus on the global challenges that confront us in the 21st century.
The theme for the 2014 Atlas Program is "Education: Igniting the Flames of Change." The Atlas Planning Committee is pleased to announce that Shabana Basij-Rasikh will deliver the keynote address at the Atlas Week Signature Symposium on Thursday, April 3 at 5:30 p.m. in the Wool Ballrooms of the Busch Student Center. She will be visiting SLU for two days (April 2nd and 3rd) to share her advocacy efforts and her inside views on Afghanistan.
Shabana is co-founder and president of SOLA (School of Leadership, Afghanistan), a nonprofit that helps exceptional young Afghan women access education worldwide and jobs back home. SOLA is also the first, and perhaps the only, girls' boarding school in Afghanistan.
Born and raised in Kabul, Shabana finished high school in the U.S. through the State Department's Youth Exchange Studies program. She went on to attend Middlebury College, graduating magna cum laude in International Studies and Women & Gender Studies in 2011.
In college, she founded HELA, a non-profit to empower Afghan women through education. She also raised funds across the U.S. to build a high school for girls in her ancestral village, and wells in the outskirts of Kabul. In 2011, Shabana received the Vermont Campus Compact Award for Outstanding Public Service. In 2011-2012, Shabana was the National Gender Mainstreaming Advisor at the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development in Kabul.
Shabana co-founded SOLA in 2008 with four students. Today, 23 girls and 2 boys aged 11 to 22 represent all major ethnic groups, religious sects and tribes, and half of Afghan provinces in SOLA's preparatory program in Kabul. SOLA scholars attend boarding schools, colleges and graduate programs in the U.S. and around the world, including Bates, Loomis Chaffee, Middlebury, Mt. Holyoke, Northfield Mt. Hermon, Smith, and Tufts.
SOLA's mission is to provide these future leaders of Afghanistan with global educational opportunities so that they can-and will-return home to develop Afghan solutions to Afghan problems.
Over the next five years, Shabana plans to grow SOLA into a world-class, accredited boarding school with 340 students from all Afghan provinces. The strength of her vision for advancing Afghanistan, drawing on her personal story and that of the school she founded, have propelled her onto the world stage.
If you have any questions, please contact Michelle Lorenzini at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-977-3243.