By Brandon Gillet
In this new age of social activism, everyone has a voice, but what does it take for any one voice to rise above the virtual din? Fourth-year public administration student Chiamaka Mọgọ is finding out as she expresses her views in her blog, Blurred Creations.
For the past year, Chiamaka Mọgọ has been posting opinion pieces covering a range of topics relevant to social injustice and human rights. She created the weekly blog because she says she has always been motivated to convey her observations of social issues.
“Coming from Nigeria at 14, I was now a visible minority and could see the issues here and in the U.S., so I felt I needed to add my voice,” said Chiamaka Mọgọ. “I became disturbed by all the human rights violations happening and I had this constant push from within to do something about it.”
When she first considered starting a blog, she was unsure whether she could consistently contribute to it and whether her self-professed lack of technical skills might be a problem.
“But then I thought ‘you know what? Just do it, just start it and raise awareness’,” she said.
The decision proved worthwhile, with her blog receiving more traffic every day, eventually leading to a recent invitation to appear on Daytime Ottawa, a local television program on community events. According to Chiamaka Mọgọ, the blog’s content is very open and is accessible to anyone from anywhere.
“It [the blog] spans many issues within human rights so there is something for everyone,” she said.
While much of her content deals with racism, several entries tackle the issue of missing or murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. Both topics are important to her: she relates racism to her status as a visible minority and the issue of missing Aboriginal women to the over 200 school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria.
As a social sciences student at uOttawa, Chiamaka Mọgọ credits her courses and professors as key to her contributions to her blog. She was particularly influenced by a second-year sociology course on Canadian society, taught by Sam Alvaro, that featured “lectures, including videos that shone a light on the ills that Aboriginal peoples in Canada have faced from past to present,” she said.
“Reading the recommended articles that the professor added to the course sequence was always very helpful,” Chiamaka Mọgọ said. “The whole course enlightened me a great deal on the systemic barriers that affect Aboriginal peoples in Canada.”
She said that in general, her courses were very open to discussion on current social issues and presented all the facts required for analysis.
“There is an element of compassion, which I think is what education is all about,” said Chiamaka Mọgọ. “Some profs would express their own concerns as well, so it’s not just presenting facts.”
She has received a variety of feedback about her blog, she is happy to hear back from readers who have felt enlightened by posts on the blog and is encouraged by their compliments.
Chiamaka Mọgọ says that the blog has also contributed to her personal growth in that she is learning more about activism and the importance of social media platforms.
“I feel like when we think about activism, we think of protesting in the street,” said Mọgọ. “You can do anything, even little things like starting a blog, being involved on social media, writing a letter to your Member of Parliament or Chief of Police, anything.”
In the future, Chiamaka Mọgọ says she wants to begin including more professional and activist sources to bolster the credibility of her posts. For now, simply adding her voice and seeing it reach others is reward enough.
“I feel like there are many more voices not being heard,” said Mọgọ. “Despite all the amazing advocates and organizations, there are never enough voices.”