The smart, fabulous and Black Wall Street Harlem honoree, Michelle Mitchenor stars on the prime-time Fox series LETHAL WEAPON. Michelle plays detective Sonya Bailey opposite Damon Wayans Clayne Crawford, and Jordana Brewster. Michelle recently starred as Crystal in the hip-hop anthology series TALES, which aired on BET. TALES also starred Lance Gross, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Elise Neal, Jermaine Dupri, and Boris Kodjoe. TALES is a scripted anthology series of song stories weaving classic and current hip-hop songs into visually stunning narratives.
Michelle was discovered by Academy Award-winning director Spike Lee and played Indigo in his musical-drama feature film, CHI-RAQ. A modern day adaption of the Ancient Greek play Lysistrata by Aristophanes, set against the backdrop of gang violence in Chicago, CHI-RAQ also starred Wesley Snipes, Samuel L. Jackson, and Angela Bassett. Michelle attended Ocean County Performing Arts Academy High School in New Jersey and has a BFA in Dance from Towson University. Michelle would go on to perform with Rihanna, Beyonce, Pharrell Williams, Cee-lo Green, Harlem’s Alicia Keys, and more.
“[With Alicia Keys], her presence in the room was like you felt a peace over you. There was a sense of sincerity. I want people to feel like that around me. Just confident even in who they are”.
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Michelle created her own non-profit to benefit inner-city kids in Los Angeles and children of Uganda. Michelle is engaged to actor Coley Mustafa Speaks, who is starring in the Netflix series SEVEN SECONDS.
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Michelle told Kontrol Magazine that (after visiting Uganda, she became an advocate for those living in harsh conditions), “It adds a whole other layer of humility.” Michelle is currently in the process of starting her own nonprofit, the Mitchenor Foundation; which introduces children of low-income communities to the arts. This nonprofit organization recognizes the decline in art programs and classes. “I’m just a huge advocate for the arts,” said Michelle. Humility regardless of what career field you’re in is important. “Tomorrow is never promised. This is a mantra that’s just been instilled within me” said Michelle. Michelle knows personally how it feels to not be able to fully express oneself. Having a special needs sibling, she considers every moment, thing, and opportunity special. “For me, everything I [do], I [hold] precious to me. Every breath I take is precious to me. It can all be gone tomorrow. It’s important to live every day as purposeful as you can”, said Michelle.
Check out the Mitchenor Foundation provides weekly programs at The Union Rescue Mission, themitchenorfoundation.org