Meet the Legacy Leaders

Michelle Williams

Legacy Leaders
Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Firefly Children and Family Alliance

Michelle is a seasoned Executive Administrator and Diversity Professional whose ability to synthesize information into actionable strategies is exceptional. For over 20 years Michelle D. Williams has worked with people during some of the most formative and stressful seasons of life. 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). Michelle brings strong administrative skills, proven programmatic and policy change success, collaborative leadership, an ethic of care coupled with an ethic of justice, and a solid interpersonal development philosophy that seeks to empower, serve, model, and embrace inclusivity.

As a former social worker, Michelle utilizes systems thinking in planning budgets, allocating resources, and accomplishing administrative tasks. Years of programmatic oversight have taught her to lead and model through the lens of this acronym: OATE (Ownership, Accountability, Transparency, and Empowerment). As a seasoned diversity professional, Michelle values the sacred art of listening and strives to model civility and hospitality. She has demonstrated success in leading organizations through crisis management and organizational change. Under her leadership, Anderson University received the ”Ignite” intercultural integrity award for Mid-West campuses that demonstrated consistent progress towards advancing diversity efforts in 2010. Michelle is a Certified Diversity Executive (CDE)® through the Institute for Diversity Certification (IDC).

Michelle travels and consults with non-profits, higher education institutions, and faith-based organizations around issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging. She is a prolific communicator and speaks at conferences, retreats, meetings, and workshops on DEI, leadership, soul care, women’s empowerment, and spiritual well-being. Along with oral communication, Michelle is the co-author of The Diversity Playbook: Recommendations and Guidance for Christian Organizations.