A portrait headshot of Vanessa Michel

Vanessa Michel is the Deputy Director of the ACLU of Colorado. In her former role as Director of Communications, she managed the production of the investigative report Cashing in on Cruelty, a report cited by the United Nations Counsel on Human Rights, and consulted on the short documentary film The Facility.

In 2021, Michel was part of a six-person working group comprised of national immigrants’ rights communications leaders, which published the book The Ultimate Messaging Guide to Winning the Immigration Narrative. Subsequently, Michel has been invited to several speaking engagements, including as a speaker at Netroots Nation, a panelist at the University of Colorado Boulder, and a presenter at The Opportunity Agenda's Narrative Research Lab. 

Michel is a Denver Metro Leadership Foundation Impact Denver 2022 cohort member. She additionally completed the inaugural ACLU National Executive Leadership Program, the New American Leaders program, and the Rockwood Leadership Foundation’s Art of Leadership for Women of Color. 

Michel holds a bachelor’s degree cum laude in Fine Art and Literature from the University of North Texas and was a Yale University resident fellow. Michel is pursuing a master's degree at the University of Colorado, Denver. Prior to joining the ACLU, Michel served as the special projects manager at Artforum International Magazine in New York. She formerly served on the Womxn’s March Denver Board of Directors with additional volunteer experience at the San Diego Council on Adult Literacy. Michel grew up in El Paso, Texas, and is the daughter and granddaughter of immigrant farmworkers.