Carol Olson

Carol Olson

Assistant Director, Injury and Violence Prevention Program 
Virginia Commonwealth University Health Systems 


Carol Olson has a varied career in art therapy, trauma program development, and radio. She has worked extensively in leadership roles in the anti-violence field since 2006, currently managing Project Empower in the Injury and Violence Prevention Program at Virginia Commonwealth University Health Systems.

Olson formerly served in leadership roles at multiple agencies focused on sexual assault and domestic violence. She has served as Executive Director in regional centers (Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault and the James House), and as Development Director at the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance (a statewide coalition) and Black Women’s Blueprint (a national agency). Olson participates in social justice cause work as well, including service on the Racial Justice Taskforce of the Action Alliance, dedicated to developing non-racist agencies within the cause area. She also founded the Virginia Art Therapy Association and helped Virginia achieve licensure for Art Therapy in 2020.

Olson has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Master’s in Art Therapy from George Washington University, and a Master’s in Counseling from Liberty University. She is a licensed professional counselor (LPC), a board-certified art therapist (ATR-BC), and a certified substance abuse counselor (CSAC). She has worked on various projects for community service boards and private practice. While Olson has always worked with sexual assault and interpersonal trauma, she began to specialize more in this area over the years and joined the Board of Directors for End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI) in 2020. She has also developed an interest in community-led independent radio and served as President of the Virginia Center for Public Press from 2015-2020. Olson now hosts several radio shows including The V Word, an anti-violence show, Women and Politics, Richmond Recovers, and specials on local news events.