Michelle Duster is an award-winning author, speaker, and educator. Her professional background includes two decades of writing in advertising and marketing communications. Since 2008 she has written, edited and contributed to nine books and dozens of articles. She is active with several committees and boards to develop city, state, and national public history projects that focus on the contributions African Americans and women have made to the United States.
In Chicago she has worked to honor the legacy of her paternal great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells. She was involved and supported the efforts to have a major downtown Chicago street renamed to Ida B. Wells Drive, an honorary street named Ida B. Wells Way, an historical marker placed to honor the Ida B. Wells Homes. She is working on a committee to develop an Ida B. Wells monument and involved with efforts to create state-wide honors to Illinois suffragists.
She is a native Chicagoan who earned her B.A. in Psychology from Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, completed coursework for MFA in film and video at Columbia College Chicago, and earned her M.A. in Media Studies from The New School in New York City. She teaches and tutors writing at the college level. She is currently working on a biography of Ida B. Wells and an anthology about activism.