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Michelle Duster    

Award-Winning Author & Educator

Michelle Duster is author, professor, public historian, and champion of racial and gender equity. She has initiated and supported dozens of local, state and national initiatives to have street names, markers, murals, and monuments honor her paternal great-grandmother Ida B. Wells and other African American female historical figures. She has worked on PBS documentary films and organized several film festivals. In the last dozen years, she has written articles for TIME, Essence, HuffPost, Teen Vogue, People, Glamour, Daily Beast, and the North Star. She has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, WTTW, CBS & CW as well as numerous radio shows. In addition she has written, edited or contributed to sixteen books.

Her most recent book, Ida B. the Queen: The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells, was released on January 26, 2021 by Atria/One Signal Publishers (division of Simon & Schuster). She co-wrote the popular children’s history book, Tate and His Historic Dream; plus wrote and edited two books that include the writings of Ida B. Wells - Ida In Her Own Words and Ida From Abroad. She co-edited Shifts: An Anthology of Women’s Growth Through Change; Michelle Obama’s Impact on African American Women and Girls; and most recently Impact: Personal Portraits of Activism.

Michelle was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Dartmouth College and her M.A. in Media Studies from The New School in New York City. She also completed MFA coursework in film and video production at Columbia College Chicago,

She has received numerous awards including the 2019 Multi-Generational Activist Award from the Illinois Human Rights Commission and the 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Award from Dartmouth College. She teaches and tutors writing at the college level and currently is working on two children’s picture books and several public history projects that feature women trailblazers.

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