Caroline Lovell, Founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Wisdom Initiative, created Traveling Postcards in 2009 as an art and social change project to empower women to share their unique wisdom across borders on small hand made pieces of art, to bring awareness to humanitarian inequities facing women worldwide.
As an artist and survivor, Caroline saw the need to highlight resilience and strength forged from her own experience and cemented by the countless stories told to her by individuals around the world facing abuse.
A graduate of JFK Transformative Art Masters program, she envisioned an organization that would use creativity and the healing properties of art to create positive social change and in 2013 saw the formation of the Women’s Wisdom Initiative into a nonprofit organization.
2013 the Women’s Wisdom Initiative developed the Shelter to Shelter initiative; an opportunity to take the Traveling Postcards workshop on the road to safe houses and shelters across the US and to women in rural and isolated pockets of the country to raise awareness about the pervasive consequences of domestic violence in the US.
In 2014 the Traveling Heart Bag initiative was created to provide beautiful hand made emergency hospital bags for survivors of sexual assault as a response to the plastic bags most survivors receive. Each bag also contains a Traveling Postcard and an opportunity for love, support and connection for a survivor right from the start.
In 2015 Traveling Postcards workshops were held on a US military base and on college campuses, highlighting the urgent need to raise awareness of the high rate of sexual assault.
WWI has worked with over 50 organizations, traveled over 8000 miles to 15 states, has held workshops in 10 countries and created over 4500 handmade Traveling Postcards, connecting women from around the world in solidarity and survivorship.
The Women’s Wisdom Initiative is fortunate to work alongside some extraordinary individuals- from volunteers and board members to workshop facilitators and participants. Every person has given of their time and expertise and we could not be more grateful. We have traveled around the country working in safe houses and shelters and have brought our programs to many communities including college campuses and refugee centers. Each place we visit has directors and administrators that facilitate our visit and make us feel welcome. Gender- based violence work takes entire communities of activists, healers, educators and leaders to create positive change- to move the needle so that all of us can feel safe… and be safe.
Caroline LovellDirector / Women's Wisdom Initiative
I grew up on a large farm, the youngest in a family of five women. I learned first hand that women are strong, capable and often victims of violence. In response to the powerlessness I experienced, I developed a deep healing connection to the land on which we lived and it nurtured within me a desire to creatively express the profound beauty it held. It also fostered an independent spirit and awareness that my individual identity could be separate from the circumstances of my immediate situation. It was through photographing the land that I saw my ability to act as an artist and to fully express my own voice and eventually match it with a cause that was both personal and universal. I became an advocate for the right of a woman to be fully expressed, to say no, and to be free from violence perpetrated solely on the basis of being female. As an artist I have focused on using the creative process as a tool for personal growth and community awareness. I believe that by encouraging self expression and global connections we can learn from our commonalities and create opportunities for everyone to become agents of change in their own community. I know that our innate wisdom holds great power and our personal expression of that wisdom can cross borders and reach far beyond ourselves to grow and affect change for generations to come. I have seen the power of transforming moments into your own voice. It does not matter if they are profound or ordinary, it is healing to imagine and create without restrictions. The Women's Wisdom Initiative is just one woman’s effort towards nurturing and sharing our collective voices and for our right to be fully expressed. Each one of us has the potential to see and hold power with pain and to move forward in a way that reflects our true self as wisdom.