Global women's rights activist speaks at University of Michigan-Flint

Published: Mar. 28, 2018 at 5:41 PM EDT
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(3/28/2018) - Shiza Shahid grew up in Pakistan and at an early age fought for the rights of women and girls.

She was named one of Time magazine's 30 under 30 world changers.

Wednesday, Shahid was in Flint to speak at the University of Michigan-Flint's Frances Willson Thompson's critical issues series.

As someone who didn't allow her young age stop her trying to make a difference, Shahid is in encouraged by the current movement sweeping the country and led by young people.

"I started protesting when I was 12, 13 years old and I think in America young people are starting to do that as which makes me very hopeful, because if they never learn that it's not their place, that they can't make a difference, then we have no hope," Shahid said.

This year's critical series issues brought speakers in who have displayed efforts to make positive things happen around the world.

"As an immigrant to America, I am in love with the country and also very deeply worried about it's current state. And I think Flint embodies both that love and potential and that pain, and I think it's very important that we have conversations in communities like Flint and bring together people from around America to examine what we got right and what we got wrong," Shahid said.

She also weighed in on the Flint water crisis.

"It's heartbreaking. How do we get a point as a society when in the wealthiest country in the world, an entire town was poisoned from drinking water," Shahid said. "I think when we see something like, we cannot be outraged enough. I also think it's very important to see this as a symptom of something that is broken in politics, in the economy and in the way that we are approaching business and government in America today."

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