"It's time to come together,
it's time to build a better tomorrow,
and it's time for the kind of leaders
who can make this happen."
Michelle Ferrigno Warren has committed her life to her community and advancing equity and democratic participation across the country. She is a nationally recognized leader, advocate, author. For over a decade, she has championed critical issues including immigration, mass incarceration and education. She is both a policy expert and knows how to build diverse coalitions that get things done.
In her role as the Advocacy & Strategic Engagement Director for Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), Michelle has spoken to thousands, traveled the world and been interviewed by national and international media. In her role as a consultant with the D.C. based National Immigration Forum, she has worked to build consensus among diverse stakeholders. Her advocacy and coalition work is a national model for non-profits and exactly what Colorado needs in an elected official.
Michelle was born in New York and came to Colorado when she was 15. Her commitment to the community around her began after college as a 7th grade math teacher working and living in a low income community in Dallas. Having grown up in a conservative home, she began to grow beyond her own experience, to listen and learn from those in her new community. She and her husband returned to Colorado 23 years ago and together started a home along East Colfax for homeless teenage girls and the following year launched Open Door Ministries, a community development 501c3 corporation in downtown Denver to address poverty, addiction and homelessness through social programs.
Michelle began to see the limitations of social programs and started to walk into community organizing and politics at the local level to help join her neighbors in their struggle against systemic injustice. She went to the University of Colorado and earned her Master’s in Public Administration, moving her quickly toward state and national level policy work and coalition building. Michelle has worked tirelessly to leverage her expertise to impact both her neighbors and others in similar communities across the country.
Michelle has lived in Denver’s 80219 neighborhood for over 20 years, leading & supporting civic endeavors and practicing what it means to be a good neighbor. Michelle has sat on numerous non-profit boards, community commissions and efforts. She is a fierce advocate for justice and has shared much of her journey toward civic engagement and activism in her book, The Power of Proximity, Moving Beyond Awareness to Action. She is an adjunct faculty member at Denver Seminary teaching, “Political Advocacy, Doing Justice in the Public Square.” Michelle has been married to her college sweetheart David for 26 years and they have three grown children.