Interview with Joanne
In this brief interview, Joanne discusses a groundbreaking initiative launched by New York City Council to invest in young women of color. Joanne shares the strategies of this initiative, how folks can support the #SheWillBe campaign, and ways the movement can replicate this model.
Joanne Smith, Founder and Executive Director, Girls for Gender Equity
“We must cause strategic disruption that changes society’s moral compass around trafficking, sexual assault, violence against girls, women and gender nonconforming people of color. This commitment to ending gender based violence and the devaluing of human rights is life long and I’m honored to fight with survivors, allies, and friends as we say NO MORE.”
Joanne N. Smith, Founder and Executive Director, moves Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) closer to its mission through strategic advocacy, development, and leadership cultivation. Ms. Smith is a Haitian-American social worker born in NY. A staunch human rights advocate, Smith co-chaired the nation’s first Young Women’s Initiative for girls of color in NYC, is a steering committee member of Black Girl Movement, and a Movement Maker with Move to End Violence -a 10-year initiative designed to strengthen the collective capacity to end gender based violence in the United States. Smith is featured on the summer 2016 Gender Justice issue of YES! Magazine sharing her experience of intersectional feminism. Joanne is an alumna of Hunter Graduate School of Social Work and Columbia Institute for Nonprofit Management. She has co-authored Hey Shorty: A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence in Public Schools and on the Streets. Girls for Gender Equity’s work to combat sexual harassment in schools is featured in the 2014 documentary Anita: Speak Truth to Power. Smith resides in Brooklyn, NY where she enjoys kick-boxing and concerts in the park. More information about Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) may be found at ggenyc.org.
Girls for Gender Equity
Girls for Gender Equity is an intergenerational organization founded in 2001. They are committed to the physical, psychological, social, and economic development of girls and women. Through education, organizing, and physical fitness, GGE encourages communities to remove barriers and create opportunities for girls and women to live self-determined lives.