Joanne Antoine, Executive Director, Common Cause Maryland
What was the most valuable thing you learned from WeLead?
We had a speaker who had managed campaigns and she talked about the importance of local elections. We often focus on national positions or presidential campaigns, even though the roles that have the greatest impact on everyday lives are local. I knew this, but she confirmed my instincts to focus on state work. By far the best session, and I'm happy to be working on ways to shift leadership to better resemble the people of Maryland!
What was your favorite part of the program?
The last session where we celebrated making it through the program and got to invite family and friends. That day stands out because many women shared their future plans.
What advice would you give to the current WeLead class?
Tap into the network that is in the session with you. So many of your classmates are/will be the people you work with, interview with, and possibly the next candidate you work for. So many of my WeLead classmates are a part of my professional network and that has opened so many doors for me. Get to know and connect with the amazing women in the room with you!
How did you secure your current position, and did it include any WeLead networking or alumnae?
I did not get this role through WeLead, but it did take a lot of networking, and WeLeaders have provided me with opportunities to speak on panels and at conferences while in this role.
Any other thoughts on your WeLead experience?
I wish I had stayed more involved after my experience, but have enjoyed watching my classmates help with sessions and serve as mentors.
Antoine has worked on voter registration and outreach for multiple U.S. Senate campaigns, as well as the Hillary Clinton and Obama presidential campaigns. She currently advocates for government reform with the Maryland General Assembly. She is also active as a volunteer in the Caribbean community. Antoine earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the New Jersey City University and a Master of Arts degree in Public Policy from Monmoth University.