As an American-born child to Nigerian immigrants, I struggled a lot with what identity meant to me. My identity felt like this nebulous thing I could never fully grasp. I spent a lot of time dissecting my identity and experiences. When I was in Nigeria or America, I paid close attention to how I was perceived and that in turn shaped how I perceived myself. I became obsessed with identity, a topic I couldn’t discuss with my parents who held onto their Nigerian identity very tightly. I felt often rejected and that there was no one culture or category that truly fit me.
I turned to my journals and writing became a space where I was able to navigate my confusing identity. Years later, I found myself sharing this writing onstage at different public forums. I first performed my poetry at an event called “Black Poets Speak Out” where Black poets were encouraged to perform poems that addressed the state of our society and country. I left the event feeling both transformed and grounded. It was through writing and public performance that I was able to find an identity I felt at home in. I became increasingly more interested in public art or art created in part for the consumption of a wider public. I know intimately the role that art can play in terms of identity navigation and self-healing. I also know how transformative art can be when it is made public, both for the individual and the audience members.
During my sophmore year of college, I earned a fellowship funding a cross-cultural research project in Nigeria. However, Nigeria’s sudden political turmoil prevented me from taking up my original trip. I learned my first research lesson: practice flexibility and patience. I instead journeyed to the Dominican Republic and researched how race is perceived and understood there with the hope of expanding the project to examine how identity is created around perceptions of race and Blackness in other Latin American countries, specifically Brazil. As a psycho-anthropological researcher and critical black feminist, I am specifically committed to advocating for Black women across the diaspora. I have experience designing and conducting qualitative, quantitative, arts-based and mixed-methods research projects. I have conducted research projects in the Dominican Republic, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and the United States investigating community and identity. I seek to deepen understanding around identity through research, dialogue and reflection in order to inform social work interventions.
As a Black woman, I am especially committed to working with and advocating for Black women cross-culturally. Much of my professional work is dedicated towards initiatives for Black women that provide empowerment and identity development.
As a social worker, I seek to diminish historical legacies of racial and gender oppression in the personal, economic, political and social spheres. I aim to use my theoretical and experiential knowledge to advocate for equity, access and inclusion.
As an educator, I am committed to anti-oppressive practices. I strive to utilize critically conscious, culturally responsive pedagogy and praxis to engage in order to decolonize classroom spaces and promote transformational education.
As a cross-cultural researcher and interdisciplinary thinker, I recognize the importance of collaborating across nations, cultures and disciplines.
As an Organizational Leadership & Policy Practice concentration student in the Graduate School of Social Work, my scholarship focuses on promoting wellness as a necessary act of resistance. Presently, my research is centered around critical pedagogy, integrating healing into higher education and Black women's well-being. I intend to demonstrate how the Academy can become a liberatory space by centering practices and ways of being that simultaneously challenge oppression and promote well-being.
I am deeply committed to social justice and advocacy. I am interested in organizational policy especially as it relates to Black women's health the ways in which vulnerable populations access education. I consider myself a scholarvist dedicated to education and research as necessary practices of social justice. Outside of my academic pursuits I am passionate about art, writing and social justice. In my free time you can find me attending community events or dancing to Beyoncé.
Practicing Advocacy at the U.N.
CCESL Community-Engaged Gender Equity Research Fellow
Black Women- LEAD Program Manager
Black Graduate Student Association Vice President
CCESL Steering Committee Student Member
Sistah Network member
Aloziem, O. A Call for Radical Healing. Poster presented at the annual University of Denver Graduate Research Fair, 2019.
Aloziem, O., Friedman, R., Graf, A., Gorgens., Dettmer, J. Racial Demographics of Justice-Involved Coloradans With a History of TBI. Paper presented at the 47th annual meeting of the Society for Cross Cultural Research conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, 2018.
Aloziem, O.“Tell me your story”: Collaborative community development in Southern Uganda”. Roundtable presentation at the 45th annual Society of Cross Cultural Research Conference, 2016.
Aloziem, O. Moreno Como Yo: Racial perceptions among children in the Dominican Republic. Symposium presentation at the 44th annual Society of Cross Cultural Research conference, 2015.
Aloziem, O., Nejad S.H. A Cross Cultural Phenomenological Analysis of the Impact of Religion Among Africans Living with HIV/AIDS. Presented at the 43rd Annual Society of Cross Cultural Research Conference, 2014.
Aloziem, O., Alvarez, G.K., Cullen, D.M. Interleukin Expression in Osteocytes of Smoke Exposed Mice. Poster presented at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in San Jose, CA., 2012.