For the past six weeks I've been lucky enough to visit schools and bookstores all over the country -- from New York to Arkansas, from Washington, D.C. to California, from Illinois to Texas -- to meet young people and talk about my new book It's Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going! What I've found most remarkable is that no matter where I am, no matter what school I'm in, kids tend to ask me the same kinds of questions. They always want to know why girls and women's rights are so important (and its often boys asking the question!), whether I would ever run for office (I urge them to ask themselves the same question) and what issue I most care about. I am also often asked: 'What should I care about?' or 'How can I make a difference?' or 'What should I do next if I want the world to be a better place?' That's my favorite question to get, because it's the one I tried to answer with my book. I want kids to learn about the world around them and then decide what makes them angry or curious or inspired. I tell them that there's nothing that they should care about, and that I bet there's something important that they already do care about -- that's what they should focus on. That's where they can make a difference.
A parent who came to one of my book signings brought a whole group of girls -- I think they were in fourth or fifth grade -- who were reading It's Your World as part of their book club. They came to the signing with their copies of my book covered with tiny sticky notes. When I asked what the sticky notes were for, they told me that they marked each fact that they thought was really important with a note. Later that parent emailed me a video of the girls talking about -- and sticky-noting -- the later chapters of my book. I could hear the shock in their voices when they read out loud facts about gender inequality and then pulled out their sticky notes to mark information about the percentages of films with female leads. I have to admit, that video made me smile.
I didn't necessarily mean to shock readers, but I did hope that reading these facts would inspire them, motivate them and empower them to make a difference in their families, their communities and the world around them. And because of readers like those girls and their book club and the kids who have asked me what they should care about and what they can do, I'm posting this Call to Action video. Facts and information are incredibly important, but they're just the beginning. Like it says right on the cover of my book -- the world belongs to each and every one of us, and once we're informed and inspired, it's time to get going!
I hope after you watch this video, you'll think about what issue you care most about and post what you want to do about it with the #ItsYourWorld hashtag -- and that you'll encourage all the kids in your life to do the same. With a little information, every kid can make a difference, and every kid can answer the question: It's your world -- what will you do?