Born and raised by a fighter herself, a woman who left the uncomfortable comfort of her native Haitian home to make sure that her children would have access to the to the aspirational “better life,” Michèle, a lawyer, legal scholar, human rights activist, is living her destiny by shining a light on the issues that plague vulnerable segments of today’s society. Michèle feels strongly that we can, as a society, create an environment for all to live with dignity and thrive. As a result, she travels around the world to address issues facing LGBTQ communities, women, people of color, and poor communities.
For Michèle Alexandre, Professor of Law, fighter for the vulnerable and disenfranchised and Rose Marie’s daughter, it is all personal.
Michèle came to the United States at the age of 15, not speaking a word of English. Less than two years later, she earned a scholarship to Colgate University. If you ask her what motivated her she will simply state, “survival.” In college, Michèle thrived. She earned the distinction of valedictorian of her class, making her the first black female valedictorian in the history of Colgate University. She also earned a highly selective Watson Fellowship, during which she researched issues facing second generation Haitians in France, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Michèle next set off for Harvard Law School where she earned her Juris Doctor. Michèle also earned a Fulbright fellowship, which afforded her the opportunity to teach at the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago, and to research the impact of body politics and attempts at subordination on Trinidadian women. Since earning her law degree, Michèle has had a variety of compelling experiences including serving as a civil rights attorney with Chestnut Sanders Sanders Pettaway Campbell & Albright L.L.C. in Selma, AL—where she worked on many discrimination cases, including both iterations of the Black Farmers class action suit. Additionally, she served as an Associate in the Corporate Real Estate Department of the Debevoise & Plimpton law firm and as a Law Clerk for the Hon. John P. Fullam, U.S. Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania.
Michèle served as a law professor at University of Memphis from 2003 to 2008 and, in 2008, she joined The University of Mississippi School of Law where she is now the Professor of Law and Leonard B. Melvin, Jr., Lecturer. She was named one of Ebony Magazine’s Top 100 influential African Americans of 2013 and one of the 50 “Most Influential Minority Law Professors 50 Years of Age or Younger” by Lawyers of Color Magazine,
Michèle is the author of Sexploitation: Sexual Profiling and the Illusion of Gender (Routledge, 2014), and of many law review articles and op-eds. In her book, Michèle explores, amongst other themes, sexual profiling, the tool used to institutionalize and systemically perpetuate gender and LGBTQ stereotypes. At the most basic level, Michèle seeks to protect the vulnerable by shining a light on the issues/ societal norms/cultural and legal restraints that threaten them. She strives to make the world understand that vulnerability is a universal condition. Such that, when we harm and exclude some, we ultimately harm and exclude ourselves and society.
In addition, her upcoming civil rights textbook is entitled: “The New Frontiers of the Civil Rights Movement.”
When she is not working with her students, speaking at different conferences, or writing, Michèle enjoys time with family and friends, running, and binging on Orange Is the New Black.