"I choose to devote myself to the field of violence against women, because it has impacted my life both as a survivor of sexual assault and as a child witness"
by Kirsten Lesak-Greenberg
Meet Tonya Lovelace
Project Manager for Women of Color Network
onya Lovelace has worked in the field of violence against women for over 13 years.
"I choose to devote myself to the field of violence against women, because it has impacted my life both as a survivor of sexual assault and as a child witness," said Lovelace.
Lovelace’s devotion to women’s issues, with a focus on women of color, has been unwavering. She attended the Miami University of Ohio and acquired a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. She then went on to obtain two Master of Arts degrees in Black Studies and in Women’s Studies both from Ohio State University.
In addition to these educational accomplishments, Lovelace worked as an adjunct professor at several universities and has conducted numerous trainings on local, state and national levels.
Lovelace has had many different positions related to violence against women. Among other major career accomplishments, Lovelace succeeded in pioneering two programs that support her goal of ending violence against women: Rise Support Group for women of African Descent and CaseWatch, a volunteer court watch program.
Lovelace has been the recipient of several awards, including Write State University of Ohio’s Women’s Studies Community Award (2001) for her work with CaseWatch, WROU Radio in Dayton, Ohio’s Black Achievers Award (2001) and SafeHouse’s Flame of Life Award (2001) for outstanding commitment to the fight to end domestic violence.
Currently she works as the project manager for the Women of Color Network (WOCN), which has a close partnership with IDVAAC as well as several other institutions.
WOCN works to eliminate violence against women and families. WOCN provides women of African, Asian, Latin and Native descent with access to information and ways to challenge systems and institutions to enhance their ability to achieve violence-free lives.
WOCN promotes the development of independent, women-of-color-led initiatives to serve communities of color. It also assesses government and tribal policies, programs and laws and provides women of color with opportunities to make a difference regarding issues that affect their personal and professional lives.
As the project manager for WOCN, Lovelace works with and oversees staff members, Advisory group, Mentor Project and consultants across the country who provide WOCN constituents and colleagues with the national training, technical assistance and support.
Through her work with WOCN Tonya Lovelace has had the opportunity to work with members of IDVAAC and attend IDVAAC events. Last year, Lovelace attended IDVAAC's national conference, and most recently, Lovelace attended an on-site meeting with IDVAAC in New Orleans.
"It felt good to attend the meeting in New Orleans and to be able to support the one standing program in New Orleans after Katrina," said Lovelace. "The program works to provide technical assistance on the ground to communities of color, which is consistent with the mission of WOCN."
Lovelace has also participated in meetings alongside IDVAAC around public policy concerning issues that affect underserved populations in communities of color, fatherhood and marriage programs and violence against women programs.
Lovelace has included members of IDVAAC in work that she has done and would like to involve them more in call-to-action statements and work that WOCN has been doing.
"It’s one of my goals to work together with IDVAAC in many different ways," said Lovelace. "As an African American woman, it is important to me to support IDVAAC and other institutions that directly serve and support communities of color."