Joanne Smith

Joanne is the Founder and Executive Director of Girls for Gender Equity (GGE)

She is responsible for moving the organization closer to its mission through strategic planning, development, and leadership cultivation.

A Haitian-American social worker born in New York City, in 2001, she founded GGE with the support of the Open Society Foundation to end gender-based violence and to promote gender, race and class equality.

She completed post-graduate training at Ackerman Institute for the Family – providing therapy to families, supporting the family/school collaborative, and linking families to community resources. She is an alumna of Hunter Graduate School of Social Work and Columbia Institute for Nonprofit Management, and has co-authored her first book, Hey Shorty: A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence in Public Schools and on the Streets, published by Feminist Press (2011).

Joanne has been honored by a number of prestigious organizations, including the Union Square Award and the Stonewall Democratic Club, in recognition of her leadership and dedication to women’s and LGBTQ rights. She is part of the first Move to End Violence cohort—a 10-year initiative designed by NoVo Foundation to strengthen the collective capacity to end violence against girls and women in the United States.

She resides in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.