Black History Month goes well beyond February.
Michèle Newton advocates for this in every aspect of her career and private life. As a Black biracial communicator, Michèle is as tireless as she is prolific in educating, advocating, and consulting to raise up awareness and inspire people to build inclusion.
Part of Michèle’s lived experience has been years honing her craft. Earning an MBA, multiple postgraduate certificates, a marketing diploma, leadership and diversity diplomas, as well as other licences, Michèle has finely tuned her skillset to be an effective changemaker.
Drawing upon her lived intersectional experience and journey, Michèle has created positive change across industries. Having previously been a faculty member of Georgian within the business area, she has deepened this relationship by transforming her role at Georgian to a targeted one of prolific change. In recent years, she’s been an Inclusion and Diversity mentor with the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre at the Barrie Campus.
Outside of academia, Michèle fulfils the role of a speaker, expert, consultant, changemaker, and advocate with PMJ Inc. Through her career, she has challenged major corporations to change their viewpoint and migrate away from dominant white narratives or perspectives.
Building upon an illustrious career spanning 25 years of communications and public relations, Michèle not only knows the power of speech and how to tell a story, but has lived the experience of a biracial Black woman and innately knows how valuable the sense of community is to belonging.
Her work has not gone unnoticed. The University of Toronto (U of T) has selected her as a TEDx speaker for their “Radiance” event in February, 2023. In 2020, Michèle was recognized as one of 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women as selected by 100ABCWomen, as well as a 2020 YMCA Simcoe Muskoka Peace Champion. In 2018, Michèle was a featured speaker at the U of T’s and Black German Heritage & Research Association’s Global Conference: Transnational Perspectives of Black Germans.
Becoming a mother motivated Michèle to change her focus to creating a better more inclusive world. Leveraging her passion and expertise, she is championing building a brighter more inclusive future for the next generations.
One branch of this new focus was empowering people beyond herself to become changemakers. Central to her work, Michèle launched Our Mosaic Lives, Community Conversations, and was a co-founder in the creation of the non-profit Making Change. Making Change was founded in Simcoe County in 2019 with the stated purpose of starting much-needed conversations around inclusion and diversity. Its co-founders saw that few things were happening in area schools, or within their communities, to mark Black History Month. They didn’t want to just “sit back and wait” for change, they had to be the change.
“We have diversity. However, what we need is inclusion” is a statement that Michèle firmly believes and has carried this philosophy through her founding of the “Fit Out” movement, which she recently launched at the TEDxUofT event. The idea worth spreading is that to build an inclusive world, we all need to “Fit Out”. We need everyone to resist the pressures to fit in, to show up as their authentic selves and together build an environment of belonging. Then, harnessing the power to create a better future together, the “Fit Out” movement activates us to build hope, elicit empathy, and to support the goal of ending exclusion. To build an inclusive world, we all need to “Fit Out”.
Looking to the future, Michèle continues to drive positive change, and ensure that there is space and community for everyone, to share and celebrate uniqueness of culture, to inform and educate, or to challenge biases, and to share the stories of the Black-lived experience.