Founder & Executive Director, Girls for Gender Equity

Joanne Smith's headshot

Joanne N. Smith, Founder andExecutive 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, a cross-sector Initiative coordinating government, philanthropic, and community efforts to create the conditions for cis, trans girls of color and GNC youth to thrive. Smith’s leadership helped to facilitate a $20M commitment from government and philanthropy to invest in community-driven recommendations. Smith 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 cover of YES! Magazine, Gender Justice issue Summer 2016, 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. GGE has partnered with the ‘me too.’ movement to interrupt sexual violence and support young people through their healing journey. Smith resides in Brooklyn, NY. More information about Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) may be found at