In helping empower women, Roxanne found her calling.
When Roxanne first traveled to Kenya as a teenage volunteer, she was struck by the strong and resourceful women she met. Her task was to start a fair trade program so women in the impoverished communities could sell their beadwork to visitors. They could not believe that Roxanne wanted to sell their work and return the profits to them and their families.
She went on to graduate from Stanford University with a degree in international relations, earn a coveted Rhodes scholarship and law degree at Oxford, and clerk for the Supreme Court of Canada. But rather than pursue a conventional career, she chose to bring her training back to the communities that first inspired her.
In 2012, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Nipissing University and received the Order of Canada in May 2017.
As founder of ME to WE Artisans, Roxanne now leads social and economic empowerment initiatives for women in Kenya’s Maasai Mara and in Ecuador. Her continued commitment to the Artisans program has led to widespread retail traction, with ME to WE products now being sold in over 12,000 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 over 20-year history of sustainable development to work. She established Bogani Cottages and Tented Camp, a first-of-its-kind facility designed as a rejuvenating home base for youth, adults, families and corporate groups volunteering in Kenya. The success of Bogani led Roxanne to expand this niche experience with the creation of Araveli Cottages and Tented Camp in Rajasthan, India, and the Minga Lodge in the Ecuadorian Amazon.