The Power of Arts and Exchange – A Virtual Reunion

On June 29, 2021, Global Ties Sacramento hosted Women Writing Together for Social Justice: The Power of Art and Exchange, a reunion between Sacramento-based Women’s Wisdom Art and the Ugandan Women Writers Association: FEMRITE. Members of Women’s Wisdom Art and FEMRITE reconnected with us virtually to share their international exchange experience and discuss their latest joint project: a cross-cultural anthology of women’s stories. Written and illustrated by 60 women writers (30 from the United States and 30 from Uganda), the writers hope that the book will inspire and encourage women around the world to use writing and art to influence social change. Each woman is writing about the experiences of her Ugandan or American counterpart, and using the narratives to tackle important issues, such as female genital mutilation and gang violence. The amazing work done by Women’s Wisdom Art and FEMRITE has given these writers— and eventually their readers— the opportunity to heal from trauma, create lasting bonds, and illuminate women’s voices. If you missed the event, click here to watch the recording.

Thanks to everyone who attended, and to the writers for sharing their time to give us a sneak peek into some of the stories. We look forward to the finished product! Special thanks go to our featured speakers:

  • Hilda Twongyeirwe, Executive Director, FEMRITE
  • Ms. Fortunate Tusasirwe, Programs Officer, FEMRITE
  • Ali Lichtenstein, Board Chair, Women’s Wisdom Art
  • Vicky Boyd, Vice-Chair, Women’s Wisdom Art
  • Yvonne Evans, Advisory Council Member, Women’s Wisdom Art

If you are interested in becoming more involved with international exchange programs in Sacramento, please contact Kim Todd or subscribe to our mailing list.

Writing for Social Change

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) project, Writing for Social Change, brought women from the Ugandan Women Writers Association: FEMRITE, to the U.S. to meet with American c to examine the use of the written word to raise awareness of gender issues, empower women, and promote inclusion. While in Sacramento, the visitors met with representatives from Women’s Wisdom Art, a non-profit organization that improves women’s lives and advocates for equity and justice through art, writing, and wellness.

During this exchange, the women discussed the importance of using the creative arts to raise awareness of gender issues, influence social justice action, build confidence, and empower women. Both organizations provide a creative space for women to find their strength, gain confidence, and heal from trauma in their local communities, and were excited to share experiences. It was obvious from the first hello that a solid connection had been made and this IVLP meeting in Sacramento would not be the only time these women would interact. True friendships and a lasting partnership were formed.

Since 2019, Ali Lichtenstein, Board Chair of Women’s Wisdom Art, and Hilda Twongyeirwe, Executive Director of FEMRITE, have remained in almost constant contact. They are currently collaborating on a project with 60 women, 30 each from Uganda and the U.S., to inspire and encourage women around the world to use writing and art to influence social change.

2019 IVLP Meeting with Ugandan Visitors at Women’s Wisdom Art in Sacramento