AS PART OF THE
REEL ADVOCACY SERIES
The Acorn Project brings you "Girl Rising | The Afghan Chapter,"
a portion of an award-winning feature documentary about "unforgettable girls, striving beyond circumstance and overcoming nearly insurmountable odds to achieve their dreams."
MINI FILM SCREENING
of Girl Rising | Afghan chapter
WINE & REGIONAL CUISINE
with Afghan women about their inspiring stories and journey to advocacy
by members of the UCSB Middle East Ensemble
FEATURING CONVERSATION WITH
NARGIS AFZALI ZADRAN
Nargis Afzali Zadran is an education practitioner with 15 years of experience advocating for and educating marginalized communities in Afghanistan. Nargis is currently working with Warrior Angels Rescue as Principal of Vida International School. After evacuating from Afghanistan Nargis worked as a volunteer with Afghan refugees at Fort McCoy, a US Army installation, helping in the development of a curriculum for learning centers for students aged 7 to 14 as well as adults. This was to prepare these children and adults for school, jobs, and life in the USA. Nargis was also the Former Principal of Mezan International School in Kabul and in 2019, Nargis served on the steering committee for the development of a new curriculum for Afghanistan’s education system, chaired by the Ministry of Education. Nargis has a bachelor's degree in International Relation and Islamic Studies from University of Peshawar, Pakistan.
Marwa Dashti is a young passionate woman from Afghanistan, her works and passion lies in the same line of work as her Father. Her father Fahim Dashty was the biggest advocate for freedom of speech in Afghanistan and he lost his life defending the freedom he believed in. Marwa Dashti from a young age dreamed to follow her Dad’s footsteps, she started volunteering at Afghanistan National Journalist Union (ANJU) at the age of 17. After the fall of Afghanistan at the hands of Taliban, Marwa faced a lot of barriers after losing her Dad. On her way to Canada, she did not stop working and serving her nation. She served as community mediator for a well known charity and the embassy of USA in Albania helping refugees transition.
Shagufa Habibi is an accomplished activist originally from Herat-Afghanistan. Through her blog with the non-profit “Educate Girls Now”, Shagufa uses her voice to elevate awareness on key issues such as child marriage and access to education. Shagufa is currently pursuing an MA in International Economics and Finance with a concentration in Data Analytics at Brandeis University. Through her work in the financial sector, her goal is to establish a foundation entitled “Women Leadership and Sport” to empower Asian girls through education, sport and leadership and to improve their financial independence.
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Small plates, wine, and live music
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Mini documentary screening of “Girl Rising | The Afghan Chapter” followed by an engaging, provocative discussion with three remarkable Afghan women sharing their stories of courage and ideas for impact
8:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Advocacy in Action:
The Acorn Project has been privileged to work with strategic partners to support the evacuation and education of at-risk Afghan women and girls.
WAYS YOU CAN HELP
IF YOU HAVE 5 SECONDS
Retweet a powerful voice in the girls’ empowerment conversation: Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Sima Bahous, Sakina Yacobi, Melanne Verveer, Malala Fund, Rebecca Winthrop
are some must-follow accounts.
IF YOU HAVE 5 MINUTES
Post and tag advocates and allies. Listen to Afghan women. Keep education and empowerment as part of your day-to-day conversations. Talk to others about the challenges girls face at home and abroad. Refuse to be silent if someone says something degrading towards girls and women.
Check out Human Rights Watch: Fighting the Taliban’s
Donations, no matter how small, can make an enormous difference. Donate to organizations who are key players in the continued fight for Afghan women’s rights;
Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security
Provide evacuation and resettlement of prominent, at-risk Afghan women leaders
The initiative of Georgetown Institution for Women, Peace, and Security
Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief & Development (ACBAR)
Largely responsible for coordinating humanitarian aid distribution and Managing Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund. ACBAR lacks small, women-led organizations which are key.
Umbrella organization for women’s groups and local NGOs (non-governmental organizations)
Nearly 75% of these women’s groups have closed or have become inactive since the pull out.
Their grassroots approach to aid distribution prioritizes the education of female children, in a society where they are all too often an afterthought, by tying critical food and fuel aid to their academic success. This method ensures that the girls are signing lessons rather than marriage contracts. That is a long-term investment in the family, the community, and country.