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Harriet Michelle Michel

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Information about Harriet Michelle Michel

Profile image of Harriet Michelle Michel

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Foundation Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Haiti
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
7/5/1942
Birth Location:
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Foundation Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Haiti
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
7/5/1942
Birth Location:
Pittsburgh
See how Harriet Michelle Michel is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Harriet Michel was born Harriet Richardson in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 5, 1942, to John Robert and Vida Harmony Richardson. Attending A. Leo Weil School and McKinley Elementary School, Michel also studied in Norway as an American Field Service exchange student before graduating from Coraopolis High School in 1960. In 1965, Michel earned her B.A. degree in sociology and criminology from Juniata College in Huntington, Pennsylvania.

From 1965 to 1970, Michel was a program officer for the National Scholarship Service (NSSFNS). Joining the New York Foundation as its executive director in 1970, Michel became the first African American woman to head a major foundation. During President Jimmy Carter’s administration, Michel served as director of the Department of Labor’s Office of Community Youth Empowerment Programs/CETA. She established the Women Against Crime Foundation at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 1982 and served as president of the New York Urban League from 1983 to 1988. A resident fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics in 1988, Michel later joined the National Minority Suppliers Development Council (NMSDC), eventually becoming its president and chief executive officer. At NMSDC, Michel encouraged African American businesses to compete with larger white businesses.

For her work, Michel has received many awards including the 2004 Enterprising Woman of the Year Award; the Executive Leadership Council’s Achievement Award; and the Legacy Award from the Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency. A member of three United States Agency for International Development missions to South Africa, Michel also served on the United States-Haiti Business Development Committee. She is a founding member of the Association of Black Foundation Executives.

See how Harriet Michelle Michel is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Harriet Michelle Michel's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Harriet Michelle Michel lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Harriet Michelle Michel talks about her mother's side of the family, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes her maternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Harriet Michelle Michel talks about her mother's side of the family, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Harriet Michelle Michel talks about her father's side of the family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes Richardson family reunions and Rural Retreat, Virginia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes her father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Harriet Michelle Michel remembers relocating from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes how her parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes her earliest childhood memory and shares a story about her birth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes her father's pranks
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes her father's involvement with the Candy Kids on Pittsburgh's KDKA Radio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Harriet Michelle Michel considers the impact of her relatives' choice to pass as white
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes moving from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Harriet Michelle Michel remembers the advent of television
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Harriet Michelle Michel reflects upon her educational experiences in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Harriet Michelle Michel recalls her memorable teachers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Harriet Michelle Michel remembers her American Field Service experience in high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Harriet Michelle Michel remembers traveling to Norway as part of the American Field Service's student exchange program
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes her experience living abroad in Norway
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Harriet Michelle Michel reflects upon Europe's progressiveness in the 1950s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Harriet Michelle Michel remembers having formative discussions about race in Norway
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Harriet Michelle Michel reflects upon Norwegians' understandings of American racism in the 1950s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes her return to Coraopolis High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Harriet Michelle Michel remembers being recruited to attend Juniata College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes challenges of attending Juniata College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes joining a jazz group at Pennsylvania State University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes her friendship with Galway Kinnell at Juniata College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes protesting in Montgomery, Alabama in 1965
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Harriet Michelle Michel recalls being photographed by Charles Moore when attacked by state troopers in Montgomery, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes the aftermath of the civil rights demonstration in Montgomery, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes her graduation from Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes her employment with the National Scholarship Service and Fund for Negro Students and the New York Foundation
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Harriet Michelle Michel remembers assassinations of political leaders during the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes the New York Foundation and her responsibilities for the John Lindsay mayoral administration
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes the heroin epidemic of the 1970s and founding the Association of Black Foundation Executives
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Harriet Michelle Michel remembers the formation of black organizations in the late 1960s and early 1970s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes her appointment to President Carter's U.S. Department of Labor
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes her transition from the U.S. Department of Labor to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the 1980s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes changes in government funding under the Reagan administration
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes being selected as first female president for New York Urban League
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Harriet Michelle Michel remembers leaving the New York Urban League
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Harriet Michelle Michel recalls her fellowship experiences at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes her appointment as president of the National Minority Supplier Development Council
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes the National Minority Supplier Development Council
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Harriet Michelle Michel explains the National Minority Supplier Development Council impact on minority businesses
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes the impact of supplier diversity programs for minority businesses and corporate America
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes National Minority Supplier Development Council's senior board management
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Harriet Michelle Michel shares a success story of a minority supplier
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes challenges businesses face to retain their minority status
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Harriet Michelle Michel narrates her photographs
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Harriet Michelle Michel explains HistoryMaker Earl G. Graves Sr.'s disagreement with the National Minority Suppliers Development Council
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes her leadership for the National Minority Suppliers Development Council
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Harriet Michelle Michel explains how her foresight affects her leadership
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes Robert L. Johnson's sale of BET to Viacom, Inc.
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Harriet Michelle Michel explains the economic challenges of keeping black owned businesses strictly independent
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes economic and social effects of the offshore industry, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes economic and social effects of the offshore industry, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Harriet Michelle Michel reflects upon her evolving worldview
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes her role as a liaison between corporations and minority businesses
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Harriet Michelle Michel reflects upon her identity as an African American female executive
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Harriet Michelle Michel remembers the impact of 9/11, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Harriet Michelle Michel remembers the impact of 9/11, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 3
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Harriet Michelle Michel talks about the opportunities for minority suppliers
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Harriet Michelle Michel talks about the need for African Americans to regain a stronger sense of community
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Harriet Michelle Michel reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Harriet Michelle Michel considers her future plans and goals
  • Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes her hope to assist in Haiti's economic development
  • Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Harriet Michelle Michel reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 12 - Harriet Michelle Michel talks about her family's response to her accomplishments and success
  • Tape: 8 Story: 13 - Harriet Michelle Michel describes how she would like to be remembered