Artist Statement

As a spoken word artist and an educator, Michelle regards her work as a form of activism and is dedicated to raising awareness about social injustices and building positive relationships across communities.  Michelle strives to facilitate honest dialogue through her poetry and hopes to move audience members to recognize the humanity of others and acknowledge the common human desire for peace, healing, happiness, and love. She also seeks to connect people, bridge cultures, and initiate a movement of positive and progressive change.  Towards this end, Michelle’s poetry has examined the following topics: racial justice, human trafficking and sexual slavery, anti-Asian violence, police brutality, mixed race identity, cross-cultural community building, sexual objectification, and intergenerational war trauma. In recent years, Michelle has focused on creating work that encourages female empowerment and raises awareness about the various forms of violence enacted against women not only by men but also by other women.  As a survivor of sexual assault and domestic violence, Michelle understands how important it is for women to feel safe in an unconditionally supportive space.  In her commitment to this issue, Michelle authored a solo poetry book titled The SHE Book and has donated all proceeds from book sales to Odanadi, an anti-trafficking organization that rescues and rehabilitates women and children in India.  She is currently working on a new volume of poetry, tentatively titled Prayers from the Lost-and-Found