Announcing the BlogHer '09 International Activist BlogHer Scholarship Winners!

BlogHer Original Post

Back in December we announced the BlogHer '09 International Activist BlogHer scholarship program and invited you to submit yourself or your favorite international activist BlogHer for consideration for this scholarship.

Dozens of submissions rolled in, and our amazing Scholarship Selection Committee (Julie Godar, Jenifer Scharpen, Denise Tanton, Kim Pearson, Georgia Popplewell and Nelly Yusupova) helped us narrow it down to five scholarship winners. We were looking for sites that were, in fact, bloggy, and for those that had a specific activist intent. The five selections certainly do not represent every nominee that garnered votes from our committee...there were many, many worthy submissions. But they do represent those submissions that garnered the most votes and support from the committee.

While the selection was made almost three months ago, it has taken until today for all five to get their visas approved for travel to the conference, so I am happy to introduce you now to our BlogHer '09 International Activist Blogger Scholarship Recipients!

Annie Zaidi, India, publisher at

Blog Mission: The self-stated mission of this blog is "to use writing to force people to rethink positions or examine established ideas, and to break stereotypes about certain communities or groups based on gender, religion or race. It takes, by and large, a non-judgmental stance on most issues, and it seeks to raise questions as part of a genuine attempt at understanding human society and its structures. This is a crucial aspect of journalism, but an aspect that is increasingly overshadowed by the necessity of creating drama around each piece of news, and the mad scramble for exclusivity and one-upmanship between media organisations."

Cristina Quisbert, Bolivia, publisher at

Blog Mission: According to Cristina's nominator: "The mission of this blog is to strive to show indigenous communities as a source of pride. There are a lot of misconceptions about indigenous people, and Cristina shows a more personal side and uses her own voice to represent other members of indigenous communities in the Bolivian Altiplano. Cristina is a bridge blogger, allowing fellow Bolivians who may not identify themselves as a member of an indgenous community, to interact and learn about indigenous communities in another region of the country. By also writing a blog in English, she is able to reach a much wider audience and show another side of life in El Alto, Bolivia."

Esra'a Al Shafei, Bahrain, publisher at

UPDATE 05/14/09: We are sorry to report that Esra'a will be unable to attend this year after all. No need to worry about her: it is due to another wonderful opportunity that has arisen for Esra'a. Of course, we are disappointed, but we hope perhaps she can come next year instead. In the meantime, please do check out her work.

Pilirani Semu-Banda, Malawi, publisher at

Blog Mission: According to Pilirani's nominator, this blog's mission is: "To bring awareness and change to Malawi's social and economical problems. Some development projects have been kick-started based on stories published on the blog, including the improvement of monitoring programs to get rid of child labour in the tobacco industry and an increase of treatment to women suffering from fistula."

Toyin Ajao-Dawodu, Nigeria, publisher at

Blog Mission: The self-stated mission of this blog is "To provoke more thorough examination and investigation of gender and equality issues. She also writes a weekly series highlighting other women around the globe who are committed to helping women."

We are proud to bring each of these women to BlogHer '09 and to provide a forum for them to share their work during the conference.

We are convinced that we can all learn practical advice about affecting social change via blog from our scholarship winners...and we can all walk away inspired by their courage, their perseverance, and their accomplishments!

Congratulations Annie, Cristina, Esra'a, Pilirani and Toyin!

on behalf of Elisa, Jory and Lisa, BlogHer Co-founders


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