Be our guest at the world premiere of Walk on My Own, 13-year-old Ndèye Fatou Fall’s film about her life in Senegal as the centuries-old traditions of child marriage and female genital cutting give way to girls’ education and self-determination.
VIP Reception, World Premiere (27-minute film in advance of WNET broadcast) and Discussion
Wednesday, March 13, 7–9 pm
Hosted by International House
500 Riverside Drive at 123rd Street, New York City
CLICK HERE to join the International House guest list.
View the Trailer. (embed the trailer below instead of photo?)
Thirteen-year-old Ndèye Fatou Fall documents the profound changes in her village in Senegal. In 1998, Keur Simbara was among the first communities to publicly abandon child marriage and female genital cutting (FGC), traditions that had been practiced for centuries.
More than 700 million women worldwide living today were married as children and FGC has impacted an estimated 200 million girls and women in 30 countries.
Ndèye Fatou was among the first generation of girls born after these traditions were abolished. Her story illuminates the freedoms and value that her generation of African women is now able to enjoy: completing their education, marrying whom they want and making their own decisions about their lives.
“My film is about the changes that have occurred in my community. Today, these social changes are of great importance, especially for children. If I’d been born in 1990, I would be married by now. Many communities still do harmful practices, like child marriage. Tradition is very strong, and to abandon these practices is difficult. When people from other countries watch the film, if they are still practicing child marriage and female genital cutting, they will wake up after they see this film and will want to stop doing those things.”
– Ndèye Fatou Fall, age 13
Film mentor Elizabeth Hummer is committed to helping children tell their stories and be understood. She has earned four Emmy nominations and two Emmy awards for her work in children’s media.
“Young people are in a rapidly evolving state of making sense of their worlds and their place within it. By helping youth to tell their stories authentically, BYkids assists them to become more grounded in their personal truth and confident about their place in the world—locally and globally. I am proud to be a shepherd to the individual wisdom of young people on behalf of BYkids. Nothing is more effective in bringing peace to the world than this exchange of self-knowledge.”
Holly Carter (Founder and Executive Director, BYkids) began her career as a writer and editor at the New York Times and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Since then she lived in Korea as a Henry Luce scholar and print and television journalist; produced the award-winning documentary Margaret Sanger; co-founded North Carolina’s Full Frame Festival; served as a consultant for The After-School Corporation; produced the PBS series Media Matters; and most recently was the Executive Director of the Global Film Initiative. She founded BYkids in 2007. FILMS BYKIDS airs on public television in 84 million households and the films and educational material are used in half the schools in America.
Naima Dido was born in Nairobi, Kenya, shortly after her parents fled there from Ethiopia as political refugees. In 1989, she was resettled in the United States along with her parents and four younger siblings. Naima describes herself as an activist for human rights and women and girls’ equity and protection. Her volunteerism and life experience as an African, a woman and a refugee inform her passion for self-sufficiency and human dignity. She believes that poverty is usually, at its root, about imbalances of power and the lack of access to resources, that change is possible, and that solutions require good ideas, courage and persistence. She has more than 20 years’ experience working with refugee and immigrant communities in the United States and Africa and is currently the Program Director at Seed Program International, where she works with her team to develop women’s empowerment programs using gardens as a safe space to discuss sensitive topics like FGC, mental health and child marriage.
Molly Melching (Founder and Creative Director, Tostan)
Since arriving in Senegal in 1974, Molly Melching has helped thousands of communities achieve transformative social change through her NGO, Tostan, and its groundbreaking educational programs. Her primary role on the Board of Directors is to represent the interests of Tostan’s participants and staff and to ensure the execution of the vision and philosophies of the organization. Aimee Molloy has written a best-selling biography of Molly, However Long the Night: Molly Melching and the Sparking of a Grassroots Movement for Human Rights in Africa.
BYkids mentors teens to tell their stories through film and share the realities of global inequality and injustice on the world stage. We give kids agency to inspire, empower and enact change. Kids learn citizenship through empathy, using film as a starting point for understanding—in schools with teaching materials and the support of three million educators, and in homes on public television.
The result: Each of our films is viewed and discussed with 248 million teens and their families, creating common ground among us.
Tostan empowers African communities to bring about sustainable development and positive social transformation based on respect for human rights. Tostan believes that through this mission we can ensure that every person—girl, boy, woman and man—is able to live a life of dignity.
Founded in 1924, the International House is home to 700 scholars and young professionals from over 100 countries each year. Among the 65,000 alumni are Nobel Prize winners, heads of state, CEOs, award-winning authors, actors and singers. Its board has been chaired by two former US presidents (Dwight Eisenhower and Gerald Ford), three former secretaries of state (Henry Stimson, George Marshall, and Henry Kissinger) and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve (Paul Volcker).
CLICK HERE to join the International House guest list.