Maggie Williams is a co-founder of the Advocacy Institute, which equips grassroots activists and community organizers with critical skills and tools to effect legislative change. Through powerful trainings, visual tools, and a growing strategic network, the Advocacy Institute builds the power of social justice organizations and fuels legislative wins. For nearly two decades, Maggie has worked to support progressive policy issues as a lawyer, legislative counsel, and advocate. She has extensive experience with community organizing and working to ensure that all communities have their voices heard in the political and legislative process.
Prior to starting the Advocacy Institute, Maggie applied her experience collaborating with grassroots organizations to analyzing and drafting legislation and making policy decisions in the New York State Senate. During the Democratic majority of the State Senate, Maggie was lead counsel on two key bills that were signed into law: then-Senator Eric Schneiderman’s bill to end prison-based gerrymandering and Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson’s bill to establish no-fault divorce. Before joining the Senate, Maggie worked as an advocate on criminal justice issues at the Correctional Association of New York and The Bronx Defenders.
Maggie also brings to the board her background in donor organizing for social justice philanthropy, a central part of North Star Fund’s mission. Previously, Maggie served on the board of Resource Generation, an organization that works with young people with wealth to leverage resources for social change.
“Having worked for the State Senate, North Star Fund’s funding and work seem even more critical. New York needs an organization that is committed over the long-term to supporting grassroots organizations fighting for progressive legislative change.”