The Downtown Women’s Center, located in the heart of Skid Row, is the only program in Los Angeles focused exclusively on serving and empowering women experiencing homelessness and formerly homeless women. Beginning last year Barry and I embarked on a photography project with woman whose live’s have been dramatically changed by the DWC. The goal of the project is to create a photo-story that can spark interest and help reach the necessary people to action. We made several visits to the Center over a six month period and after earning the trust of it’s staff and population, we were able to hear their incredible individual stories and begin to photograph. Yes, we came from very different backgrounds, and yet we shared many commonalities. We laughed and cried together. These women are strong… resilient. Their stories are filled with pain. I admire them for how far they have come. One woman said to me, “you smile with your eyes” and stated that she had never seen that before. She said that she hopes she can do the same one day. It was clear that for the most part, these woman never had the opportunity to have what we call a normal American life.
The Los Angeles City Commission on the Status of Women and Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Gender Equity Team are partnering to host an art exhibit commemorating Women’s History Month, March 2019. The exhibit will center on the strength of women who have experienced homelessness, domestic violence, and human trafficking through the theme “Shifting Narratives: Strength of Women Survivors.” The launch of the art exhibit will take place on Friday, February 28, 2019 and will be displayed for approximately one month at the Los Angeles City Hall Bridge Gallery. Select artwork will also be on display at Mount Saint Mary’s University. A special event in recognition of the artists is scheduled for March 8, 2019, International Women’s Day.