Maven to Know: Michelle D. Williams

A seasoned Executive Administrator and Diversity Professional with an ability to synthesize information into actionable strategies.
Maven to Know Template - Michelle D. Williams

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Michelle on stairs
Photo courtesy of Michelle Williams

Michelle D. Williams isn’t just the Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Firefly Children and Family Alliance, she’s also the CEO of Shalom Consultants. She’s a seasoned Executive Administrator and Diversity Professional with ability to synthesize information into actionable strategies. Beginning as a social worker with at-risk populations; serving as a pastor walking through life’s transitions; working as an advisor/mentor to undergraduate college students (Anderson University); coaching and facilitating diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings; mediating difficult conversations around difference; and as a Dean at a graduate seminary (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary). Whether it is within a church setting, a conference room, or the hallowed halls of academia, Michelle is shepherding people, programs, and policies requires wisdom and grace. She’s a board member at Regality, Inc; a legacy leader and mentor at Pass the Torch for Women; and an active member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Indianapolis chapter. But she’s also an avid traveler, reader, writer, and speaker; nothing makes her happier than seeing people thrive. Fully leaning into the responsibility gene inherited as the oldest of four and one of the eldest grandchildren on both sides of her family, she uses this to help people develop meaningful connections across lines of difference. Tell us more, Michelle!

My Maven Superpower is … the ability to ask the right question at the right time

Best book I’ve read lately is … This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories that Make Us by Cole Arthur Riley

Self-care habit I swear by … Weekly Sabbath (one day a week where I do little to nothing work related)

Michelle at her desk
Photo courtesy of Michelle Williams

My first job was … Working at McDonalds – quit after 4 days. Burned myself on the fryer each day.

The best career advice I can offer is … Always be in succession planning mode. So, when you leave – you leave the place better than when you came.

A purchase I’ve been loving lately is … my new high thread count sheets – there’s nothing like feeling like you’re sleeping on a cloud!

I feel most confident when … I’m humming my “inspirational” theme song before a big presentation/speech/opportunity

My favorite local restaurant dish is … Basque Cheesecake at Leviathan Bakery

The thing I’ve been binging lately is … Bridgerton – Season 2 – Getting ready for Season 3

A fun fact about me is … I am a Marvel nerd

The skill I most want to learn is … how to gain greater buy-in when managing change

A Maven you should know is … Mira Cassidy – D.V. Survivor, speaker, writer and all around amazing human being!

Michelle holding her book
Photo Courtesy of Michelle Williams

My favorite nonprofit to support is … Firefly + any other organizations committed to the holistic well-being of women and girls

What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community? My first book, “The Diversity Playbook: Recommendations and Guidance for Christian Organizations” was just released on Audible. I’m also putting the final touches on the manuscript for my second book.

What’s next for you? What can we expect to see over the next few years? I hope to connect with as many Mavens as possible; publish my second book; complete my doctorate and continue helping people and organizations build meaningful relationships across lines of difference.

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