World-renowned Pakistani activist to deliver common reading lecture Sept. 28 at WSU Tri-Cities

World-renowned Pakistani activist to deliver common reading lecture Sept. 28 at WSU Tri-Cities

RICHLAND, Wash. – Khalida Brohi was named a Forbes “30 Under 30” top young world leader in social entrepreneurship for her work in women’s rights in Pakistan in 2014. On Sept. 28, she will lead a presentation on her work at Washington State University Tri-Cities.

Brohi will speak on two separate occasions on Sept. 28 at WSU Tri-Cities. Her first presentation will be open only to the WSU Tri-Cities campus community and will begin at 3:10 p.m. in the East Auditorium. Her second presentation at WSU Tri-Cities will begin at 7 p.m. in the East Auditorium and will be open to the public.

Brohi will also speak at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 in Compton Union Building’s senior ballroom at WSU Pullman.

Summit Eden

Khalida Brohi

“(During my presentation at WSU), I will be talking about the constant emphasis everyone puts on changing policies in countries like Pakistan,” Brohi said. “I come from a rural background there and I have seen the huge gap between the way tribal communities operate and the country … (Sometimes) no law can protect a woman unless the tribal men and women are educated.”

Brohi’s presentation is part of WSU’s common reading program, where thousands of first-year students in the WSU system read a book focusing on an issue that sparks discussion, highlights research across disciplines and introduces different ways of understanding complex issues. This year, students are reading New York Times Best Seller “I Am Malala,” which focuses on Pakistani teenager and author Malala Yousafzai who survived a 2012 attack by the Taliban and launched a campaign for education.

“Much of Brohi’s life parallels that of her fellow Pakistani activist, Malala Yousafzai,” said Susan Poch, WSU common reading program co-director.

As a teenager in Pakistan, Brohi witnessed the honor killing of a friend who had married for love instead of a family-approved choice. The experience inspired her to rally on the issue, which led her to found the Sughar Empowerment Society, a nonprofit organization that supports rural and tribal women in Pakistan by empowering them socioeconomically, emotionally and intellectually.

Kate McAteer, WSU Tri-Cities assistant vice chancellor of academic affairs, said WSU Tri-Cities is honored to welcome Brohi to speak to both campuses as her personal experience will shed light on topics that are important to the modern world.

i-am-malala“What is great about the common reading program at WSU is that it brings together the campus and regional community for healthy discussion on complex topics that impact the world,” she said. “Students spend their first year examining and discussing these topics through their coursework. The community is then invited to join that conversation by bringing their outside experiences and perspectives to light through the public presentation and discussion.”

WSU Vancouver selected a different book for their common reading program. Students are reading “Integration Nation: Immigrants, Refugees and America at Its Best,” By Susan E. Easton. The author will deliver a lecture Oct. 26 at WSU Vancouver.

The two-year leadership and social justice theme of the WSU common reading program is in line with WSU aiming to solve some of the world’s Grand Challenges, with specific relevance to the challenge of advancing opportunity and equity.

For more information on the lecture and common reading program at WSU, visit