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This Story May Save Us

A Celebration of Girls' Power to Remake the World


About Girl Rising

Girl Rising is an international nonprofit organization that uses the power of storytelling to change the way the world values girls and their education. We began as filmmakers and journalists, and created a film and social action campaign that helped ignite a movement for girls’ education. Today, we work in five countries - Guatemala, India, Kenya, Pakistan and Nigeria - collaborating with innovative local partners to deliver programming focused on building 21st century skills among adolescent girls. Our programs engage boys, educators, parents/caregivers and community members to build allies who support girls’ education and break harmful gender norms. Through our Future Rising Fellowship we support young women in their next step as leaders. Our Future Rising program supports a global community of young leaders driving solutions to climate change. We provide leadership development, storytelling training, financial support, network building and opportunities to share their voice with the world.

About Westport Country Playhouse

The Playhouse is a nonprofit that produces theater from playwrights, actors, directors, and designers of all backgrounds, while entertaining audiences and exploring human and societal issues along the way. Through the art of theater, we bring stories to life that reexamine our own experiences, shine a light on those that have been ignored, and ensure a space for those yet to be told.

The Stories

Sokha's Story - Samaria Nixon-Fleming 

Welcome - Erika Wesley

"Girl Rising" film

Wadley's story, Haiti

Suma's story, Nepal

In Conversation

   with Shabana Basij-Rasikh and Christina Lowery

The Stories of the Future Rising Fellows

  with Dayana Blanco Quiroga, Bolivia and Lety Tituaña, Ecuador

Your Stories
Audience Conversations

The Storytellers

Shabana Basij-Rasikh
Founder SOLA
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In 2008, while a student at Middlebury, Shabana co-founded SOLA to provide quality education for girls in Afghanistan. She graduated magna cum laude in 2011 BS later earned a Master in Public Policy from Oxford University and received honorary doctorates from SOAS University of London and Cedar Crest College.

At Middlebury, Shabana won a Davis Peace Prize, and was named one of Glamour Magazine's Top 10 College Women of 2010. She also received the Vermont Campus Compact 2011 Madeline Kunin Public Service Award.

In 2014, Shabana was named one of CNN International's Leading Women and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. She is a global ambassador for Girl Rising. In 2018, she received the Malalai Medal, one of Afghanistan's highest honors, and in 2019, she was listed on Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia for social entrepreneurship. In 2021, she became a Washington Post Global Opinions contributor, and in 2023, she was awarded the Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year.

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Christina Lowery,
Girl Rising CEO
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Girl Rising CEO leads the strategy and execution of Girl Rising’s expanding work around the globe. Central to this work are the production of new films and other media, the implementation of education programs, the growth of the Future Rising program, and engagement with public and private sector partners, media partners, educators, and grassroots supporters. Christina’s passion for storytelling is grounded in decades of experience in documentary film and television.

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Lety Tituaña
Future Rising Fellow, Ecuador
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Leticia Tituaña, an Indigenous woman of the Kichwa-Otavalo people in the Andean region of Ecuador, is the founder of WARMI STEM, an organization that empowers Indigenous women to pursue STEM careers. Lety, the first in her community to attend college, graduated from the ESPOL engineering program. Currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Water Management, her research integrates indigenous knowledge with engineering technologies. 

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Dayana Blanco Quiroga
Future Rising Fellow, Bolivia
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Dayana Blanco Quiroga, an Aymara Indigenous woman from Oruro, Bolivia, co-founded the Uru Uru Team which is dedicated to preserving Uru Uru Lake from pollution, innovating solutions using indigenous traditional knowledge. In recognition of their efforts, Dayana and the Uru Uru Team were awarded the prestigious Equator Prize in 2023. Dayana recently delivered an address at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Dayana Blanco Quiroga
Samaria Nixon-Fleming
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Samaria Nixon-Fleming is a New York-based actress, dancer, and singer. Born in New York City and raised in Bergen County, New Jersey, she grew up immersed in theater thanks to her parents’ artistic backgrounds. She booked a Johnson & Johnson commercial at four years old and has been dedicated to her craft ever since.

She graduated with a BFA in drama from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. A proud member of Actors Equity and SAG-AFTRA, she has appeared on TV, New York stage, and in regional theater.

Lincoln Center selected her for their Kenan Fellowship, where she wrote, produced, and directed "I Create," which ran in the Clark Studio Theater. She is currently developing and writing new projects.

Next up, Samaria will be seen in "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" on Broadway. She is represented by Henderson Hogan Agency for Theater/TV/Film and DDO Agency for Voiceovers/Commercial.

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Erika K. Wesley
Nonprofit Leader
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Erika K. Wesley is a nonprofit leader with over ten years of experience in constituency building, relationship management, program development, strategic planning, and leadership development. She is the former Editor of the Manhattanville Review and INKWELL literary journal. She's the 2014 Manhattanville Writing Alumni Contest winner. She has facilitated community-based creative writing workshops for PEN America, Minds and Motion, Wakeman's Boys and Girls Club, and the Brazilian Immigrant Center. She is the author of the book "For the People to Drink" and the creator of the "Show of Hands" podcast. She is the chairperson of BLaC (Building Leaders Across Communities) Strategies, an emerging nonprofit in Connecticut focused on cross-community leadership development and community messaging.

Most recently, Wesley served as the Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for the Westport Country Playhouse. She has also worked with Fairfield County's Community Foundation and the Carver Foundation of Norwalk.


A Decade of Impact - A Future of Change

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Over a decade ago, Girl Rising launched as a nonprofit after witnessing the power of storytelling to catalyze change. The stories of nine ordinary, extraordinary girls in the original Girl Rising film help spark a global movement for girls’ education. Today, storytelling remains at the heart of our education programs and Future Rising. 

Join us on October 10, 2024 in New York City to celebrate our 10th Anniversary.


Reserve your tickets here

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