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Malala Yousafzai is starting a feminist book club, which is exactly what we need during this pandemic. She just graduated from Oxford University, but she’s been in the international spotlight for fighting for girls’ education in Pakistan and being the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Price at 17.

Now she’s 23, and just like many other college graduates from the class of 2020, is feeling a little bit lost. In an interview with The Lily, she told Lena Felton that “I’m just as confused as anybody else as to what to do. It’s not been an easy time.”

She is, however, launching a project with the book subscription service Literati which introduced its new virtual book club platform. Every month, members of the book club will receive a book chosen by Yousafzai beginning in October. You can subscribe here.

But unlike a lot of books we see in education curriculums, Malala is selecting books that highlight marginalized and underrepresented voices, particularly women and people of color. She noted a lack of diversity in her required readings at Oxford: “It was just fascinating to see what you learn from what is there on the reading list and what you learn from what is not there on the reading list...there’s a huge, huge lack of Black writers and lecturers.” This is, of course, an issue in not just higher education, but education at large.

As an English major, much of what I study is catered to the white, male, heterosexual gaze, and I often have to look outside of my curriculum to find works that prioritize other identities. Learning is not an experience limited to formal classroom settings, and this book club is a wonderful opportunity to broaden your understanding of the human experience.

 

Header image courtesy of Simon Davis via Flickr

 

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Grace Weinberg (she/they) is a senior at Simmons University pursuing BAs in English, Women's & Gender Studies, and Spanish in addition to interning at BUST. When she's not reading in bed with her french bulldog, you can find her rollerskating or watching the next feminist horror flick. Follow her on Twitter at @GraceWeinberg6.

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