Malala Yousafzai Receives Liberty Medal

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Tuesday night at the National Constitution Center, nearly 1,500 people gathered to honor a young girl, Malala Yousafzai, with the Liberty Medal. Yousafzai stood up to the Taliban and spoke out about the inequality in education for girls in her native Swat Valley in Pakistan.

Malala wrote an anonymous blog for the BBC website in 2009 that detailed life under Taliban occupation. The following year, the New York Times made a documentary on her life. For her efforts, the Taliban attempted to assassinate her. That, Malala, said was a big mistake, as it buried any weakness and fear she had, and her strength and power were born. Her message on the Taliban was then broadcast around the world, and she spoke in front of the UN in 2013.

Today Malala and her family live in England where she attends school and experiences the more normal student dread of upcoming exams. Earlier in October, Malala was announced as the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her message for the right of all children to education. Even though she’s receiving many accolades, her teachers do not excuse her from her school work. The Emcee for the evening was Martha Raddatz, Chief Global Affairs Correspondent, ABC News.

Photos from Malala Yousafzai’s Liberty Medal ceremony after the jump »

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai to Accept Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Center

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Malala Yousafzai became the youngest Nobel Laureate ever on October 10th when she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize alongside Kailash Satyarthi. At just 17, Malala was picked from 278 nominees, which included both Edward Snowden and Pope Francis.

Yousafzai and Satyarthi were chosen for their work promoting children’s rights. Yousafzai became an international spokesperson for girls’ rights to education at 11 years old, when she began writing for the BBC about her experience living under the Taliban. Though she was celebrated for speaking out, Malala became the target of an assassination attempt by the Taliban and was subsequently shot down in 2012. Since her miraculous recovery, and under continued threats, Yousafzai has continued her campaign for girls’ education. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said in a statement that Malala “has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations.”

Satyarthi, an Indian children’s rights activist, has spent decades fighting child trafficking and forced labor in India. In 2013 Satyarthi launched the Save the Childhood Movement in an effort to identify and protect children from societal values that work to erode their childhoods. The Norwegian Nobel Committee added, “it is an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism.”

Earlier this year, Yousafzai was chosen to receive the 2014 Liberty Medal for her campaign for children’s educational rights and for finding courage despite the challenges she has faced. Yousafzai will be awarded the medal in the 26th Annual Liberty Medal Ceremony held Tuesday, October 21st at 7 p.m. at the National Constitution Center on Independence Mall. Previous recipients include Hillary Rodham Clinton, Muhammad Ali, Tony Blair, and Bono.

9 Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend in Philly

Can’t make it to the shore this holiday weekend? Philadelphia’s got you covered. Here, we round up seven Memorial Day Weekend events to keep your mind off the fact that you’re not splashing in the sea. 



10 Things You Should Know About Thomas Jefferson* Before You Tour ‘Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello’

Photo | Shutterstock

Photo | Shutterstock

This week, the National Constitution Center opened the doors to Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello, its six month-long exhibition about Thomas Jefferson. And to my surprise, the organizers didn’t engage in the customary American practice of sweeping slavery under the rug. In fact, they went right at it by including the word “Slavery” in their title and by addressing “the stories of six slave families who ‘lived’ and ‘worked’ at Jefferson’s plantation — the Fossett, Granger, Gillete, Hemings, Hern, and Hubbard families — and their descendants who fought for justice and helped bring to light their ancestors’ lives and values.”

Nice, huh? Well, yes. But only kinda. By that, I mean they didn’t really “live.” Instead, they actually “suffered and survived.” And they didn’t really “work.” Instead, they actually “slaved and toiled.” But let’s not quibble over semantics. Instead, let’s go the to heart of the matter by enlightening you about who — and what — Thomas Jefferson truly was.

Here are 10 things you didn’t know about him:

10 Things You Should Know About Thomas Jefferson* Before You Tour ‘Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello’ »

NMAJH and NCC Are #OpenInPHL and Free on President’s Day

If you’re lucky enough to have the day off you may want to take the opportunity to check out some of our local museums that you’ve always been meaning to get to. Here are two welcoming guests with a special free day of admission for President’s Day. They’re especially great options if you’re looking for something to do with kids.

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NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN JEWISH HISTORY: Family-friendly interactive tours, arts and crafts activities and story times make up NMAJH’s day of celebrations. A rarely seen original letter written by George Washington to the Jewish Community of Newport, R.I., will also be pulled out of storage to be put on display especially for President’s Day. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free, National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 S. Independence Mall East, nmajh.org.

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Constitution Center CEO Jeffrey Rosen Has the Best Job in the World

You’ve spent most of your career as a law professor and the legal affairs editor at the New Republic. Why move to Philly to take over the Constitution Center?
I had the best job in the world as a law professor and a journalist. But when the Constitution Center approached me, I realized this was the best job in the world.

Why?
My great passion in life has been moderating constitutional conversations. And the Constitution Center is the one place in America, in the world, that’s uniquely qualified to do just that.

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Hillary Clinton Receives Liberty Medal. Now Conservatives Hate Jeb Bush.

You already knew that Hillary Clinton received the Liberty Medal Tuesday night at the National Constitution Center. There was a fair amount of national media there, so we thought and check what they had to say about the event.

Washington Post:

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Jeb Bush, would-be opponents in the 2016 race to return one of their families to the White House, shared a stage here Tuesday evening and basked in a mood of bipartisan bonhomie.

The former Republican governor of Florida celebrated Clinton’s commitment to public service as she received the 2013 Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

“Hillary and I come from different political parties, and we disagree about a few things, but we do agree on the wisdom of the American people — especially those in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina,” said Bush, who is chairman of the National Constitution Center.

But wait! The Washington Times reports that Jeb “kept his distance” from Clinton!

Critics were aghast that Bush would celebrate Clinton, particularly with controversy still raw over the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Clinton was secretary of state at the time.

“Jeb Bush shows non-presidential mettle with Hillary Clinton medal,” read the headline on a conservative website. Twitter burned for weeks. “@JebBush Really? Hillary. Really? #Benghazi,” one person wrote Tuesday night.

Bush, already under fire for his advocacy of the Common Core education standards, was cordial toward Clinton, but his speech avoided talking about her career.

Even as Bush seemed to brush off criticism, he never got too close to Clinton, denying a photo of them side-by-side that would surely be used against him in a future campaign.

Politico also emphasized the damage that Jeb Bush was taking by being at the ceremony:

“Secretary Clinton is out of office. So am I. I’m not sure what people expect to happen here tonight,” Bush said. “We do agree on the wisdom of the American people, especially those in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina.”

But he was unlikely to placate all conservative onlookers and Clinton critics.

“If Jeb Bush didn’t want to run for the Republican nomination, he could have just said so,” wrote Jim Geraghty at National Review, noting that the event falls one day before the one-year anniversary of the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya.

“Now, you see a story like this and you say, “What in the name of Sam Hill?” right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh said after the event was announced in June.

The message here, of course, is that conservatives will be royally punished for ever reaching across party lines or ever acting in a non- or bipartisan manner. What’s the National Constitution Center to do? Only give the Liberty Medal to Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz? It’s not a “conservative of the year” award.

CBS News:

Hillary Clinton mostly stayed away from the Syria debate while receiving the National Constitution Center’s 2013 Liberty Medal here Tuesday night, only mentioning the controversy once in her 15-minute speech.

“That violated universal norms,” she said of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons. “It demands a strong respond from the international community, led by the U.S.”

Since President Obama addressed the nation an hour after her remarks, Clinton may have decided to leave it to him to discuss the constantly evolving situation.

New York:

The president’s speech also allowed Clinton to gracefully back out of her previously announced plans to deliver a “robust policy speech” at the event. “It’s simply and obviously not the right time,” a source told Politico. “Furthermore, she is very mindful that she will be speaking only an hour or so before the President addresses the nation.”

But, you know: Jeb.

 

Three Signs That Liberty Medal Recipient Hillary Clinton Won’t Run for President in 2016

Nah, Hillary Clinton isn’t running for president.

Sure, just about everybody who gathered Tuesday night at the National Constitution Center to see Clinton receive the Liberty Medal expects to see her run—the out-of-town media that gathered, the extra-supportive crowd, and just about everybody who got up on stage to sing her praises clearly expect it.

“I think Secretary Clinton is going to be in Des Moines next week,” said Jeb Bush, referencing Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses. (To be fair, Jeb probably will be there too.)

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