Girl Rising: Educating Girls Can Make the World a Better Place

[ 0 ] July 5, 2013 |

For Tom Yellin, working for social change was not something he expected – it just happened. “I always participated in journalism that turned into social change, but I never did it on purpose until ‘Girl Rising,'” he told genConnect at the Aspen Ideas Festival 2013.  Yellin, currently the president of the Documentary Group and now executive producer of the new documentary Girl Rising, came across this advocacy campaign while doing general research on poverty with his team.  “We felt a responsibility to do something and made the conscious decision to build a campaign to spread this idea as far and wide as possible.”

Girl Rising focuses on how investing in girls is the single greatest thing we can do to make the world a better place. “We are talking about the most basic fundamental right of a human being to live a complete life,” says Yellin.  “That’s what the campaign to educate girls around the world is about.”

Watch Tom Yellin discuss how he went from journalist to advocate with his newest documentary, Girl Rising, at the Aspen Ideas Festival 2013: 

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Yellin, although now working in the social change sector, never believed journalists should also be advocates.

“Journalists should be truth tellers,” he says.  “One of the virtues of being a journalist is that you get to peek around all kinds of corners in thegirlrisinginternal1 world. When you discover things that you think need to be fixed, one way to do it is to just tell the story.”

However, Yellin knows that occasionally, you come across a situation in which telling the story just isn’t enough. “You have to make sure as many people hear it as possible,” he says. “You have to tell the story … you have to give people a way to act – that’s what we’ve attempted to do with Girl Rising.”

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Girl Rising, a 10×10 film which made its international premier in June, is a groundbreaking film, directed by Academy Award-nominee Richard Robbins, which tells the stories of 9 extraordinary girls from nine countries, written by 9 celebrated writers and narrated by 9 renowned actresses. The film showcases the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change the world. Click here to watch the Girl Rising trailer.

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Category: Aspen Ideas Festival 2013

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About Tom Yellin: Co-Founder, President & Executive Producer As executive producer Tom Yellin has overseen numerous critically-acclaimed DocGroup projects, including the recent America in Primetime, a premier series on PBS showcasing the creative minds behind the new golden [...]
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