That’s one of the key ideas Greg Mortenson, winner of the 2011 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Education, delivers in his book, “Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
The book is a sequel to Mortenson’s widely acclaimed first novel, “Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace. One School at a Time.”
UofL’s Board of Trustees approved Mortenson’s selection as winner of the award at its April 14 meeting. He is scheduled to give a public talk at UofL on Belknap Campus Sept. 23.
Mortenson, co-founder and executive director of the nonprofit Central Asia Institute, has established more than 170 schools in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan over the past 18 years.
“Stones into Schools” recounts his work to build schools for girls in Afghanistan. The book extols the value of community support, respect for local traditions and, ultimately, the positive impact of female literacy on developing nations.
Mortenson demonstrates that a powerful ripple effect is set into motion when girls from impoverished parts of the world receive an education, said award director Bill Bush.
“In the United States, we tend to think change comes from sweeping educational reform, but Mortenson’s book celebrates the power of the multiplier effect. He shows how educating just one or two girls in a largely illiterate community can dramatically change the fate and future of that community,” Bush said.
Five $100,000 Grawemeyer Awards are presented each year for outstanding works in music composition, ideas improving world order, psychology, education and religion. Winners of the other four 2011 awards were announced late last year. They have been on campus this week talking about their work.
See their video interviews: