In September of 2010, after the inaugural UN Foundation /Mashable/92nd St Y Social Good Summit, she had an epiphany: “I realized, wait, my voice is bigger than talking about my kids and products. I can use my voice for other things too.”
A few months later, our partners at ONE.org invited Jennifer on a learning journey that culminated in a trip to Kenya with nine other bloggers and truly changed her life.
After her experience in Kenya, she searched within herself and within her community, determined to do something bigger. “I knew there had to be other moms who wanted to do something more. My community has greater issues they want to be involved in—both domestically and globally.”
Earlier this year, Jennifer began Mom Bloggers for Social Good to see if it resonated. She quickly built a community of over 600 bloggers. Each blogger receives a weekly email with suggested tweets, blog topics and other calls to action. The blogger chooses what they want to share with their own communities.
“Moms have limited time but they want to use their voices for good. I want the site to become a great resource for moms to get smarter about the issues, go deeper and find organizations that speak to them. Maybe after 20 tweets they will realize they can do something more. They can take another step and blog, or go to an event, or donate.”
“That first Social Good Summit piqued my interest, and if other moms get those opportunities as well and see work on the ground, that is so pivotal to creating advocates for whatever issue tugs at their heart strings: women’s health, maternal health, child hunger. I want to learn about it all – it’s all so interconnected.”
It is not easy to tell another person’s story. Authenticity is important and the best way to do that is to spend extended time on the ground. Even then, trust must be gained, space for a relationship to grow is needed. Jennifer relies heavily on health workers and NGO staff within country projects, as we do here at the Million Moms Challenge.
“I focus on what I can do, which is to tell small slivers of stories and to tell them with my lens. We tell it as best we can, get to the meat of the problem and with what we have, push forth those ideas.”
Jennifer knows some weeks her bloggers will respond more than others. And inevitably there will be some social good fatigue. “But I told myself I’d rather start talking about issues that really matter to me. My heart has been pulled where I want to use my voice to make some change in the world.” It’s evident her community is right alongside her.
You can learn more about Mom Bloggers for Social Good. The next iteration of the UN Foundation/Mashable/92nd St Y Social Good Summit is the Rio + Social. UN meetings in Rio this June bring the world’s leaders together. Get access to the issues and conversations via social media and digital platforms by participating in Rio + Social. Learn more here.