" In this life we cannot do
Great things. We can only do small things with great love."

Mother Teresa

Sunday, February 28, 2010

We are powerful!

How lucky we are to enjoy our freedoms. As an American woman, I can work and go to school, choose my partner and know that my children have access to education and health care. I have had a privileged life. Yet, I have experienced violence and aggression that is typical to so many women today and feel compelled to help stop the wave of discrimination, neglect and abuse that is still so commonly perpetuated towards women around the world.

I can only use the tools I have to help effect change. I am an artist and believe that healing can come from creative action, and power can come from the healing of old wounds. To be asked for your opinion or to be given a voice is to be given self worth. Self expression comes through many mediums, one of which is through the visual arts. Creating postcards that incorporate both art and words may seem like a small action, but it is exactly what most women want; voice, visibility and compassionate caring.

Receiving a card that is both beautiful and meaningful from a stranger is empowering. Knowing that you are not alone and that someone is trying to help can create resiliency. None of us can hope to effect change single handedly, but together, through collective action, we can help each other.

Join me in creating 100+ new cards for the women in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Traveling Postcards is so privileged to be working in even a small way with Eve Ensler’s V-DAY campaign (www.vday.org) to help stop the violence in the Congo. Your cards will be brought to the women who will be living in the newly constructed “City of Joy”. These grandmothers, mothers and young girls, have suffered yet survived, horrible sexual violence. V-DAY and UNICEF have partnered together to created The City of Joy as a safe and healing place to live and to be trained to become the new leaders in their communities.

Let these women know that you see them and that you care about what has happened and continues to happen. Your voice matters, your creativity and compassion can affect change for both you and women all over the world. Make a card and honor a woman today!

Please look to the Traveling Postcards website for details. www.travelingpostcards.org

Sunday, February 7, 2010

She's All That!

Every year Soroptimist International supports hundreds of middle- school girls by providing a full day of fun and learning workshops. Over 300 girls attended this year and were encourage to learn about self defense and yoga, relationships and self esteem, peer pressure and healthy food choices and most importantly, how to value yourself and know that every girl has the potential to make a difference in the world. This year Traveling Postcards was invited to participate by offering a workshop called “Bigger than Myself” and at the last minute, deliver the Key Note address!
I was so impressed by the girls I met. So many of them were already involved in community service of some kind and were willing to make as many cards as they could for women around the world. Some girls even offered to have Traveling Postcard parties at home with their friends and of course, all of them wanted to make a card for their moms!

I am reminded of Eve Ensler’s new book called “I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World” that speaks to “the girl cell” in all of us; the part of us that is strong, resilient and fearless. The part that is willing to help others, feel compassion without restriction and have the courage to act on our feelings. I encourage everyone to listen to her speech at the TED conference. http://www.tonic.com/article/eve-ensler-girl-power/
I was honored to speak to all the girls about community service, Traveling Postcards, being an artist in community, and most of all the difference that one person can make in the world! The girls I met were an inspiration to me and I thank them!