Roxanne’s involvement with development work began at a young age, when she spent six months in the Klong Toey slum of Bangkok, Thailand, caring for mothers and children afflicted with AIDS. Despite going on to graduate from Stanford University with a degree in international relations, earn an Oxford degree in law and a prestigious Rhodes scholarship, and clerk for the Supreme Court of Canada, Roxanne’s dedication and focus on helping women and girls achieve something more for themselves has guided her throughout her academic journey.
“I am continuously inspired by the women we work with, by their constant strength and resolve, and their ability to create opportunity and act as makers of their futures.” — Roxanne Joyal
Rhodes scholar, social entrepreneur, CEO, women’s empowerment advocate and mother are just a few of the titles that Roxanne has gladly held throughout the years. Her belief in herself, her mission and the transformative potential of social enterprises has taken Roxanne from the villages of rural Asia and Africa to the top boardrooms and design showrooms of New York and Los Angeles. It has also lead to the founding of ME to WE Artisans, an international market for the intricate handiwork of more than 1,500 indigenous women in Kenya—allowing them to lift their families out of poverty and establish themselves as leaders in their communities—currently being sold in locations across North America through partnerships with influential retailers. As CEO of ME to WE, Roxanne has led the creation of its unique volunteer offerings, allowing travelers to break free from a touristic experience and find meaningful connections in communities where ME to WE’s charitable partner, WE Charity, puts its 20-year history of sustainable development to work. Roxanne is also responsible for the social and economic empowerment initiatives for women in Kenya’s Maasai Mara and in Ecuador. In 2012, Roxanne was awarded an honorary doctorate from Nipissing University and received the Order of Canada in May 2017.
Caring, inspiring, passionate about empowering women, Roxanne is always ready to share a laugh, a shoulder or a hand with the women of the world.