For someone whom I took to be soft-spoken when we first met, Jennifer James sure does know how to amplify! Through her voice and those of her team members, around 50 million people around the world have heard the words and images she has to share. That is loud, and her messages of social good are worth listening to. This past spring I announced that I will have the privilege of traveling in August with Jennifer to South Africa for The Global Team of 200. I would like to introduce you to my travel partner, founder of Global Team of 200, Mom Bloggers For Social good, Mom Bloggers Club, and dynamo, Jennifer James.
In order to introduce you, fellow Global Team of 200 member, Jennifer Barbour, generously agreed to let me re-post the fantastic profile that she wrote for her Philanthropy Friday series on her blog www.anotherjennifer.com. Click here to read her piece in its entirety .
As Written by Jennifer Barbour:
Jennifer James started blogging back in 2004 at a time when most people had never even heard the term “blog”.
She founded the oldest and the largest social network dedicated to mom bloggers in the world, Mom Bloggers Club, in 2007.
Clearly ahead of her time in terms of using the power of social media and creating online communities, Jennifer James has had the unique perspective of seeing how mom bloggers, in particular, have grown throughout the years.
From sharing stories about theirs kids to working with the largest brands in the world, mom bloggers have come a long way.
It was around Christmas of 2011 that Jennifer had the idea of harnessing the power of mom bloggers to create a community for social good. She already had a community of bloggers and wondered if they would be open to writing and using their social media influence for good.
The idea was sparked from a trip to Kenya with ONE.org and ten other mom bloggers in July of 2011. Jennifer describes the trip as life changing. It was her first time out of the United States. The purpose of the trip was to see programs funded by US government that included health care clinics who worked with mothers, smaller hospitals that helped children, CDC programs and some cultural programs.
In January of 2012, Mom Bloggers for Social Good was created. This new platform, which partners with nonprofits and NGOs around the world, gave bloggers options for spreading the word about social good initiatives.
Turns out, Jennifer’s community of mom bloggers were more than ready to embrace social good. She started getting emails from people who wanted to do more. They wanted to understand and tackle the issues and get more involved with the partners and initiatives. That’s when the Global Team of 200 was created.
The Global Team of 200, of which I am a member, is a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health. Members commit to writing at least two posts per month for the teams and its partners.
The motto os the Global Team of 200: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.
Mom Bloggers for Social Good and the Global Team of 200 is an all volunteer effort, and its voices are being heard all around the world. According to Jennifer, from the beginning of last year to this year, members’ social media shares and blog posts have reached 50 million people worldwide.
And nonprofits and NGOs are excited about working with social good moms and the global team. They see a group of highly intelligent women who care and have the influence to make a big impact. In fact, Jennifer has so many inquiries from potential partners, she has had to turn some down. She is also working with several NGOs to coordinate insight trips for bloggers in order to replicate the experience she had with ONE.org. – As written by Jennifer Barbour
True to her goals this past May Jennifer James and Nicole Melancon of ThirdEyeMom traveled to India on the first Global team of 200 insight trip. There they visited field sites and met with WaterAid, Save The Children, Protsahan ,and Pratham. Early in August Stacey Hoffer Weckstein will go to Nicaragua as a Global Team of 200 member with Save the Children. Later in August I will be traveling as a Global Team of 200 member with Jennifer to South Africa. At the moment Jennifer James is in Zambia to cover HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria for the International Reporting Project. You can virtually follow her journey through the twitter handle #Zambia , and on all of her adventures @jenniferjames.
As for South Africa, stay tuned for upcoming details on our trip! I can not wait!