contact Adrienne

Adrienne Carmack, Executive Director


Adrienne has been working with HGHW since 2014, when she began volunteering as a Coalition Groups leader while a student at Colby College. Since then, she has worked with the organization as a Program Assistant, a Board member, and HGHW’s Program Director. She took on the role as Executive Director in January 2022. Most recently before joining HGHW, she served as the Deputy Director of Arizona Advocacy Network, where she built and managed programs in nonpartisan election protection, jail-based voting outreach, and community-based voting rights advocacy. Adrienne earned a BA in Educational Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Colby; and a Masters in Education Policy at the University of Arizona.

Adrienne grew up in the Bangor area, where she grew her passion for youth work as an AmeriCorps member with Girl Scouts of Maine. In the years since, she has worked with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, the Center for Small Town Jewish Life, the LGBT Center of New York City, Arizona Advocacy Network, and Wolfe’s Neck Center. Adrienne has a deep love for Maine communities, participatory action research, trail running and triathlons, and morning cups of coffee overlooking a quiet lake.

Five Questions with Adrienne

Favorite book: Half-Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls
Woman (dead or alive) to have dinner with: bell hooks
Favorite feminist anthem: Highwomen by The Highwomen
Favorite place to go on a feminist rant: on a long run on a dirt road
Perfect day (in one sentence): Hit the road early with a strong latte, long hike in the mountains, jump in a lake, pizza from Pizzicletta in Flagstaff AZ, and ice cream from Gelato Fiasco in Portland ME (this geography would somehow make sense on my perfect day).

contact Shannon

Shannon Carlock, Director of Operations


Shannon grew up in Maine and left shortly after high school to satisfy the demands of her city-girl heart. She received her BA in women’s studies from UCLA and freelanced for over 2 decades, working with a diverse list of clients, primarily in entertainment and creative arts. In 2015, she co-founded the Michigan-based Women’s Health Council, a grassroots organization focused on improving health outcomes in underserved communities. Before joining Hardy Girls, Shannon served as project manager of the Sorter Project, a community-based feasibility study, conducted in partnership with researchers at the NIH. In addition to her work with Hardy Girls, Shannon is an adoptee rights advocate & group facilitator.

Shannon has an adult daughter who lives in Chicago, and a dachshund and an elderly cat who live with her here in Maine. She’s always up for a solo adventure and she never leaves home without a book, her journal, coffee, and a playlist of some sort.

Five Questions with Shannon

Favorite book: Impossible! I do love The Stations of Solitude and An Unknown Woman, both memoirs by Alice Koller
Woman (dead or alive) to have dinner with: Fran Meneses (aka Frannerd)
Favorite feminist anthem: Under the Table by Fiona Apple
Favorite place to go on a feminist rant: Any place where I least expect to be confronted by an opportune moment.
Perfect day (in one sentence): A full tank of fuel, coastal roads, a good playlist, and the anticipation of discovering landscapes, bakeries/cafés, and thrift stores as yet unknown to me.

Meg web

contact Meg

Meg Charest, Manager, Teen Programs and the Training Institute


Meg began working with Hardy Girls in 2016 as part of the Muse program while completing her BA in English and Education Studies at Colby College. In 2020, driven in part by her work with Hardy Girls to develop connections with youth in rural communities, Meg moved to Washington County, ME, where she taught middle school ELA for 2 years and worked in community-based organizations to expand access to equitable educational opportunities through grassroots community work and programming. In 2022, Meg joined the Hardy Girls Staff as a part-time Teen Programs Coordinator before joining the team on a full-time basis as Manager of Teen Programs and the Training Institute in 2023. Meg is passionate about creating spaces for youth to be in charge of imagining and putting into motion the community practices that support and affirm them. Within these spaces, Meg believes youth are the experts of fostering the world they want to lead through youth-empowered activism.

Outside of her work in education and youth development, Meg loves to make art, read both genuinely good and so-bad-they-are good books, knit sweaters in a wide variety of earth tones, and rate the potholes she sees while running down U.S. Rt. 1.

Five Questions with Meg

Favorite book: Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Woman (dead or alive) to have dinner with: Stacey Abrams
Favorite feminist anthem: Nobody’s Stopping You Now by Lake Street Dive
Favorite place to go on a feminist rant: Wherever I am standing (or where I jump to my feet) when the necessitating moment strikes
Perfect day (in one sentence): My perfect day starts early with a long run on the blueberry barrens followed by a really good bagel and iced coffee breakfast and a trip to the bookstore and beach.

contact CJ

CJ Gilligan, Manager, School-Based Programs and Community Outreach


CJ grew up in northern California where she explored her passion for local theater, film, creative writing, and imagined herself having a career as an actress and eventually winning an Academy Award. But after taking a feminist history class at community college “Women’s US History” she realized what she had been missing in life – intersectional feminism. She received her BA in Women and Gender Studies from San Francisco State University and worked for over six years at WEAVE in a variety of advocacy roles where she provided crisis response services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and sex trafficking in Sacramento. During the pandemic CJ felt she was ready for a life change, so she uprooted and moved to Maine. After discovering Hardy Girls, CJ never imagined she could have the opportunity to work for an incredible organization whose work and mission she felt so passionately aligned with. Youth and youth-led activism are the community that, with education and empowerment, will be the leaders in lasting, necessary cultural change.

Five Questions with CJ

Favorite book: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (also an excellent limited series on HBO)
Woman (dead or alive) to have dinner with: Greta Gerwig
Favorite feminist anthem: Bad Girls by M.I.A.
Favorite place to go on a feminist rant: In any space where I am with people who are not wanting or ready for this feminist rant but are going to listen to it anyway and most likely learn something.
Perfect day (in one sentence): Morning cuddles with my cats, coffee and a pastry at a cat cafe (never enough cats), thrifting, something spooky followed by something pasta-related, and ending with seeing an old movie at the theater.