Nonprofit Leader. Faith-Rooted Activist. Author. Speaker.
Michelle Ferrigno Warren has committed her life to serving her community, working to bridge divides and strengthening collective public engagement for a more just world. She is a nationally recognized faith leader, advocate, author & speaker.
Michelle is the President of Virago Strategies, a consulting group which provides strategic direction and project management community development support alongside communities impacted by racial and economic injustice. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Cedarville University and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Colorado. She has been working in Christian community development for 3 decades utilizing her skills as an educator, worship leader, non-profit manager, public policy specialist & faith-rooted activist.
Together with her husband, David Warren, she started a transitional home in Denver for teenage girls in 1996 and the following year, alongside a group of community leaders, helped launch Open Door Ministries, a community development 501c3 corporation in downtown Denver to address poverty, addiction and homelessness through social programs.
Michelle has lived in Denver’s Westside neighborhood for over 25 years, leading & supporting civic endeavors and practicing what it means to be a good neighbor.
Michelle started to walk into community organizing and politics at the local level to help join her neighbors in their struggle against systemic injustice. She went to the University of Colorado and earned her Master’s in Public Administration, quickly moving her toward state and national level policy work and coalition building.
She has worked tirelessly to leverage her expertise to impact both her neighbors and others in similar communities across the country. During the 2020 election cycle she ran for United States Senate in Colorado, bringing her strong voice for her community and the often-underrepresented to the race.
Michelle is a Senior Fellow with The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute and an adjunct faculty member at Denver Seminary in their Cultural Engagement department teaching, Political Advocacy, Doing Justice in the Public Square and Social Concerns & Community Development.
In her longtime role as the Christian Community Development’s (CCDA) Advocacy & Strategic Engagement Director, Michelle has spoken to thousands and been interviewed by local and national media. In her role as a consultant with the D.C. based National Immigration Forum, she worked to build consensus by bringing thousands of diverse stakeholders together for shared public engagement. Her advocacy and coalition work is a national model for non-profits, earning her respect from people on all sides of the aisle.
She is a nationally recognized non-profit leader, advocate, author & speaker on faith and justice. She has helped shape and champion critical issues including immigration, mass incarceration and education. She is an immigration, education and human service policy expert.
Michelle has and continues to serve on numerous non-profit boards and community commissions. She is a fierce advocate for justice and has shared much of her journey toward civic engagement and activism in her books, The Power of Proximity, Moving Beyond Awareness to Action, IVP 2017 and Join the Resistance, Step Into the Good Work of Kingdom Justice.
Michelle’s advocacy work has been featured in local Colorado markets like The Denver Post and Colorado Public Radio as well as national Christian and secular media outlets like: The New York Times, the L.A. Times, the PBS News Hour, Christianity Today, CBN, Christian WORLD magazine, Sojourners and numerous others.
Michelle lives in Denver, CO and is married to David Warren, Executive Director of Open Door Ministries, and has three adult children.
Artwork by Anna Castellanos