Alicia Keys, Tyler Perry and NBA star DeAndre Jordan are among the dozens of stars speaking out about the importance of education for girls around the globe in an online video for the new Let Girls Learn initiative.
Nick Cannon and Soledad O’Brien are also in the two-minute video, which premiered Friday. [Scroll down to watch.]
The initiative was created in response to the recent kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria and the Taliban’s 2012 attempted assassination of Pakistani schoolgirl and education activist Malala Yousafzai. The U.S. Agency for International Development is supporting the effort with $231 million in new education programs announced Friday that will help provide safe learning opportunities for girls in Nigeria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Jordan and Guatemala.
“All around the world, people want to change the injustices but often times don’t know exactly what they can do about it,” Keys said in a statement. “I really wanted to participate in this (video) because empowering women changes the course of our world.”
The Let Girls Learn website offers various ways for individuals and organizations to get involved.
Research shows that an educated girl is more likely to educate her children. A girl with a basic education is three times less likely to contract HIV. An additional year of education can increase a woman’s earning potential by as much as 25 percent. More than 60 million girls around the world are not in school.