Michelle grew up within a network of Chinese Malaysian immigrants in Queens and Philadelphia who helped her graduate from Barnard College in 2016. She graduated with a degree in urban studies and American history. With a passion for health and social justice, Michelle has interned at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center in Manhattan's Chinatown and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. On-campus, Michelle has worked with students, faculty, and administration on issues of inclusivity in regards to race, socioeconomic status, gender, sexuality, and immigration status through her roles as a Peer Educator for Well Woman, a Chair for the Committee on Inclusion and Equity, the Vice President of the Asian American Alliance, a student organizer, and a community member.
Field placement: 9to5 Colorado
Michelle’s field placement was at 9to5 Colorado, a national non-profit that organizes low-wage working-women to fight for economic justice through advocacy and leadership development. Michelle worked on several campaigns and developed community outreach, story collecting, and capacity building skills. She worked on the Raise the Minimum Wage Campaign, where she developed trainings and prepared canvassers to conduct outreach in low-income communities. Michelle also directed outreach and interviewed low-income women of color to identify the ways in which policies regarding low-wage jobs and public benefits can be improved to better serve them and their families. Lastly, she worked alongside the housing organizer and grassroots-housing table to begin an eviction defense campaign.
Policy placement: National Homelessness Law Center
Michelle conducted research for the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty’s "Housing Not Handcuffs" campaign. She built case studies of the localities that implemented effective homelessness and housing policies across the nation by researching and interviewing with advocates, politicians, downtown associations, and direct service providers. This experience has reinforced the importance of housing for economic stability and revealed the various stakeholders involved in the link between housing and homelessness.
Hunger Free Community Report
The Eviction Defense Toolkit was created to serve Denver County residents who are currently experiencing or at-risk of eviction. The toolkit includes resources to prevent evictions, tools for improving landlord-tenant relationships, and tips for navigating eviction proceedings.