Michelle Bart, Founder and Director of NWCAVE

NWCAVE Founder Michelle Bart | Darina Neyret Portrait | Vancouver, WA

May 7, 2024
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Sometimes, you meet extraordinary people. For instance, you get to photograph them for the Over 40 Revolution! One such person is the Founder and Director of NWCAVE, Michelle Bart. NWCAVE stands for the National Women’s Coalition Against Violence and Exploitation. Her story is inspiring. After being fired for being gay from her corporate job, she sued, won, and used the money to start this incredible non-profit. She and her teams are doing great work in the realms of advocacy, tackling human trafficking and DV, educating people on how predators operate, child safety, Gay and Lesbian issues and advocacy, hate crimes and more. Even clearing the disgraceful backlog of rape kits. And so much more. This demonstrates her incredible commitment.

Therefore, when she learned that I wanted to include her in my project which not only celebrates the vibrancy of women over 40, 50, 60 and beyond, but is actively about burning the book on toxic beauty standards, she jumped all over it. During a difficult period, she came to her shoot ready to rock! In addition to that, I’m honored that she feels it marked a new beginning in her life.

Here are her words:

Despite living with Rheumatoid and Osteo Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, having battled cancer, and being a rape survivor, I haven’t let it break me. In fact, since the photo shoot, I’ve even endured three major blows to my spine, including getting knocked over by a bull! On top of that, I’m hitting menopause! But through it all, as SIA sings, “I’m unstoppable!”

However, I recently faced a major setback within my family. Because I advocated for a client who was raped by my sister’s boyfriend, my family is fractured. My sister believes he’s innocent, which is heartbreaking. Still, I’m an advocate who makes media matter, and even though this situation has impacted my family, ultimately, I’m making a difference, and I won’t stop. My anthem will forever be Beyonce’s “I Was Here.” No matter what, when I’m gone, everyone will know that I stayed strong and persevered – I am unstoppable!

Speaking of strength, the photo shoot you did, Darina, has completely transformed my self-esteem. After a brutal heartbreak, weight gain, and a deep depression, the shoot brought me out of my shell and ignited a new chapter. You empowered me to pick myself up and move forward. The photos have been invaluable for branding all aspects of my life – for myself, my work, caregiving, and the agencies I collaborate with. Having my pictures available for all sides to Michelle has been fabulous and I thank and love you very much for helping me see the other side of Michelle 🙂

Just wow.

Find out more about Founder and Director of NWCAVE, Michelle Bart here: https://nwcave.org/

Find out how you can be part of my Over 40 Revolution Project here: https://darinaphoto.com/over-40-revolution#boudoir-gallery

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