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'Silent No More' wins national online publishing award

By Isaac Thornley, Communications – Professional Writing Student

The "Silent No More" project — a winner at the Canadian Online Publishing Awards — included two Centennial students, Samira Mohyeddin and Jennifer Lee, and Centennial journalism professor Noreen Ahmed-Ullah.

The Centennial crew worked with a team of reporters and photographers from the National Post, one of whom – Tyler Anderson – has since started teaching at Centennial.

“Our students went not just as journalists, but as teachers,” says Tim Doyle, Program Coordinator and professor of journalism at Centennial. “They had a chance to move out of the classroom to tell a story of national importance, and not just to tell a story, but to help others tell their stories.”

The project consisted of profiles of 12 aboriginal girls from Maples Collegiate, a high school in Winnipeg. Both a journalistic production and a community workshop, the goal was to allow the students the platform to personalize the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women, and to give a face to an issue that is often reduced to headlines and statistics. With cameras donated by Henry’s, the girls documented their experiences.

The project helped further the relationship between the college and media partners, like the National Post. It was also a valuable opportunity for the Centennial students, who were given not just the chance to produce work for a well-known media brand, but also to make a connection between an important issue and the people of the affected community.

The stories told over the course of the project have gained meaning with the recent announcement by the federal government that a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women will begin in the coming months.

This story originally appeared in Issue 2 of Storyteller, the newsletter of the School of Communications, Media and Design.