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Michelle Duster Speaker Agent

Michelle Duster

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Booking Fee Range :
Live Event: $5,000 - $10,000  About Fees
Virtual Event: $5,000 - $10,000
Travels From : Chicago, IL, USA

Michelle Duster Biography

Michelle Duster is author, public historian, professor, and champion of racial and gender equity who believes it is essential that the contributions women and African Americans made to the United States be told in a more complete and accurate way. The first twenty years of her career were in advertising, marketing, and program coordination. In the last dozen years Duster has written articles for several publications and wrote, edited or contributed to sixteen books. She has been active with various local and national public history projects, committees, and organizations that create, document and promote the many untold stories.

She has written articles for Ms. Magazine, TIME, Essence, HuffPost, Teen Vogue, People, Glamour, Daily Beast, and the North Star. Her most recent book, "Ida B. Wells, Voice of Truth" (Henry Holt and Co.) was released on January 4, 2022 following "Ida B. the Queen: The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells," released in January 2021 by Atria/One Signal Publishers. She co-edited three books: "Shifts: An Anthology of Women's Growth Through Change" (MuseWrite Press, 2014) which was a finalist for two indie awards; "Michelle Obama’s Impact on African American Women and Girls" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018); and most recently "Impact: Personal Portraits of Activism" (MuseWrite Press, 2020) which was also a winner and finalist for two different indie awards.

She co-wrote the children's history book, "Tate and His Historic Dream" (Highlights of Chicago Press, 2014) which was a finalist for the Phillis Wheatley Book Award. Duster also edited two books that include the writing of her paternal great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells - "Ida In Her Own Words" (BW Publishing, 2008) and Ida From Abroad (BW Publishing, 2010). Her picture book "You Dared" will be published in 2024 (Henry Holt and Co.)

Duster has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, WTTW, CBS & CW as well as numerous radio shows. She works tirelessly to preserve the legacy of her great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells – journalist, suffragist, and civil rights activist. She worked on the 1989 PBS broadcast film, Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice. Duster leads the family-run Ida B. Wells Memorial Foundation, which awards scholarships to students at Rust College and University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; and provides resources and information to the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum in Holly Springs, Mississippi. She worked with the local and state government of Mississippi to have signs put on Highway 78 to indicate the museum location. She is a member of the Ida B. Wells Commemorative Art Committee where she served as co-chair for several years. The committee commissioned world-renowned sculptor, Richard Hunt, to create the Ida B. Wells National Monument that is located in the Bronzeville neighborhood in Chicago. The interpretive, soaring piece was installed in June 2021 and captures the life and work of her great-grandmother. Duster also worked with the City of Chicago to have an historical marker placed and an honorary street named after Ida B. Wells at 37th and King Drive in 2019. In addition, she was involved in renaming the major downtown thoroughfare Congress Parkway into Ida B. Wells Drive in 2018. She also spearheaded the creation of a large-scale suffrage mural for downtown Chicago which features ten women, including Wells. The project was installed in Fall 2021. She is currently working to have a companion mural installed.

In her efforts to preserve the history of other African Americans and women, Duster served as a member of the board of directors of the Chicago Women’s History Center for a decade and was secretary for several years. She has also been a member of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History since 2009. She served on the Academic Program Committee from 2011-2018 and chaired the Film Festival Committee from 2013-2018, organizing a documentary festival that included 15-17 current films that focused on the African American experience.

She speaks around the country at universities, churches, museums and other organizations about the importance of women telling their stories, the importance of representation in public history pieces, and the contributions that African Americans, including her great-grandmother, made to the United States. She has received numerous awards for her activism including the 2022 Ripple Effect Award from Public Narrative; 2020 Ida B. Wells-Barnett Award from Illinois NOW; 2019 Multi-Generational Activist Award from the Illinois Human Rights Commission; and the 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Award from Dartmouth College.

Duster 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 where she now teaches business writing. In addition, she tutors writing at Wilbur Wright College, where she also served on the Racial Justice Committee.

All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Michelle Duster for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Michelle Duster speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.

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Please Note: All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Michelle Duster for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Michelle Duster speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.

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