Joanne Otte is program manager at The Chicago Community Trust. Prior to joining the Trust, Otte was the Director of Programs at We Raise Foundation for over six years. We Raise’s vision is people free from poverty, violence, and inequality. In this role, she provided vision and direction for the program department which included two grant programs, an annual leadership award, and related capacity building resources. At We Raise, she was a key architect in the organization’s re-positioning. She analyzed data to inform focus areas and built and created We Raise’s new program focus on poverty, violence, and inequality.
Prior to We Raise, she held a variety of leadership positions at The Lutheran Volunteer Corps, a year of service organization focused on social justice, sustainability, and community – including being promoted to become the organization’s first National Program Director. Otte started her career working with and on behalf of those struggling with homelessness first in St. Paul, Minnesota and then in Chicago.
Otte has a Master of Arts degree in Religion with a focus on social justice/urban ministry from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in social work and religion from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Joanne lives with her husband and daughter in the Jefferson Park neighborhood.