Michelle Saahene

Wellness, progress and justice activist focusing on healing within a system of institutional racism. Michelle creates spaces for dialogue on racial healing, growth and learning.

  • What does being an ally mean? What does it look like?
  • The impact of racism and consistent trauma for people of color
  • The importance of intentional healing of our racial wounds
  • Our wellness is social justice
  • Implicit Bias training

Many people know Michelle from a viral video in 2018 when she was the only person to speak out in a Philadelphia Starbucks. She saw two Black men being wrongly arrested for simply waiting for an associate to arrive before making a purchase. (The barista surprisingly admitted that if they were not Black, she would not have called the police.) She then co-created a community on Instagram, From Privilege to Progress, to #ShowUp for racial justice.

Michelle participated in a panel discussion that recognized the complexities of Allyship, what it looks like and how to be an ally without having a shared experience at an intimate event at our school. She truly engaged with our audience with her transparency, humor, and expertise. Michelle has a way of connecting with people on an organic level and imparts techniques and takeaways that provide useful tools to positively impact their lives. The guests left feeling motivated and inspired. We look forward to having Michelle back to speak in the future.

- Abington Friends School