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Creating A BETTER 

North Carolina FOR ALL 


Take Part in Something Great

Image by Lucija Ros


Putting My Experience
to Work

Michelle loves North Carolina and is grateful that she can call the Outer Banks home. Michelle graduated from Manteo High School and completed her undergraduate degree at Elizabeth City State University, an HBCU located in North Eastern North Carolina. While a student at Elizabeth City State University, she became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and was Miss ECSU her last year. 

During her freshman year in college, she was hired into a permanent job in the National Park Service, and she worked all of her breaks from school in National Parks. When she graduated from college, it was a natural fit to continue her career with the National Park Service. While working for the National Park Service, she completed a Master of Arts degree at Regent University located in Virginia Beach.


During her career with the National Park Service, Michelle worked as a Biological Science Technician, Interpreter, and Law Enforcement Officer. She had the opportunity to work at several National Parks that included the Outer Banks Group, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Fort Sumter National Monument, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, with details to other parks. However, her work as a Law Enforcement officer shaped her views around the need for police reform and reform within the more extensive justice system.


Michelle worked as a Law Enforcement Officer until she began her studies at Yale School of the Environment. While at Yale, Michelle earned a Master of Environmental Science and Master of Divinity degrees. Michelle's work at Yale took her to the United Nations, where she served as an advisor to the Federated States of Micronesia (focusing on climate change and climate finance). Michelle also traveled as a part of a delegation to Saudi Arabia and had the opportunity to study and participate in discussions that engaged Muslim and Christian interactions. She traveled to other countries around the globe to learn from people in their contexts and while serving communities in need. Michelle completed her doctoral work at Emory University in Atlanta.


Michelle is an Elder in full connection in the United Methodist Church and was ordained in the New York Annual Conference. In 2018 Michelle returned to North Carolina to help care for her mother before she passed. Michelle's work in both public and private sectors and religious and non-religious communities has given her a unique perspective about engaging communities across lines of difference. Michelle believes our differences don't have to divide us but can bring us closer together. She is the proud daughter of Ruth Lewis (d.2020) and Clarence Lewis (They were married for 45 years before her mother's death). Her father spent his career in the Army before beginning a second career in the National Park Service. Michelle has one deceased sister, Ella Planter, and four living siblings Alton Tillett, Jr., Wanda Mohammed, Anjelica Lewis, and her twin brother Michael Lewis. Her twin brother received a Bronze Star for his service during the war in Iraq. 

Michelle in the Media


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