Strives everyday empowering women of color to be educated and guided towards ending poverty, finding employment and higher education. Michelle has worked as the Senior Member Development Manager of the Urban League of Greater Madison for 7 years after being an intern. She is consistently connecting with employers to get women of color (and others) in positions with companies that diversity lacks. Michelle is also a board member of the Madison’s Black Chamber of Commerce. She effortlessly works with many community organizations against racial disparities, educating the community on many resources and advocating for the voiceless. Michelle is a SiStar of the State of WI, Order of the Eastern Stars, Friendship Chapter #2 (Madison Chapter) of the State of WI, Prince Hall Affiliation and does lots of volunteer work uplifting many black women. Presently, Michelle is working on her degrees by attending Lakeland University majoring in Business Administration with Non-profit and Communication emphasis.
Get to know Michelle better
How did you come to work at your current organization?
Why is the work that you do important to the Madison community? Why is it important for you?
The work I do is so empowering to me. I’ve always learned that many blacks are not connected to community information. It is important to me that all are informed on many opportunities to better our lives.
What is your vision for Madison?
My vision for Madison is to see all residents live well physically, financially and spiritually. I want to see more Black families owning homes and and businesses.
When you look back over your whole life – What experiences have shaped you as a woman? and Why?
Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, I grew up witnessing drug dealers/users, crime and lots of violence. Although I was not considered to be in poverty, I was surrounded by it. I graduated from St. Ethelreda Catholic School and Calumet High School which were 100% black student population so my whole life I was taught black is beautiful and black girls can be anything we want. Today, I firmly know that is true!
What are some of your practices of resilience? Who did you learn this from and how are these helpful in times of challenge?
Positive Relationships, Self Awareness, Mindfulness. These are 3 main things I try to maintain and remind myself during times of distress, pain and doubt. My influences have come from other women who has overcame it all.
What are some of the things you enjoy the most in life? What keeps you inspired, re-charged and brings you joy?
I love karaoke! Singing has always been a passion for me and is usually my escaping point. It takes me away from any thoughts or challenges for a short time but it also recharges me towards reality.
When you think of your life journey unfolding, Who do you see yourself becoming?
I see myself as a black woman that will be a role model for girls. I see myself as a black women who will help other black women excel.