Meet Michelle

Michelle Ferrigno Warren has committed her life to her community and advancing equity and democratic participation across the country. She is a nationally recognized leader, advocate, author & speaker. For over a decade, she has championed critical issues including immigration, mass incarceration and education. She is an immigration, education and human service policy expert who knows how to build diverse coalitions that get things done.  

In her longtime role as the Christian Community Development’s (CCDA) Advocacy & Strategic Engagement Director, Michelle has spoken to thousands, traveled the world and been interviewed by national and international media. In her role as a consultant with the D.C. based National Immigration Forum, she worked to build consensus among diverse stakeholders. Her advocacy and coalition work is a national model for non-profits, earning her respect from people on all sides of the aisles. 

Michelle was born in New York and moved to Colorado when she was 15. Her commitment to the community around her began after college as a 7th grade math teacher working and living in a low income community in Dallas. After 3 years, she moved back to Colorado and with her husband started a home along East Colfax for homeless teenage girls and the following year helped launch Open Door Ministries, a community development 501c3 corporation in downtown Denver to address poverty, addiction and homelessness through social programs. 

Seeing the limitations of social programs, she 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, moving her quickly toward state and national level policy work and coalition building. Michelle has worked tirelessly to leverage her expertise to impact both her neighbors and others in similar communities across the country.

Michelle has lived in Denver’s westside neighborhood for over 20 years, leading & supporting civic endeavors and practicing what it means to be a good neighbor. 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 has sat on numerous non-profit boards, community commissions and efforts. She is a fierce advocate for justice and has shared much of her journey toward civic engagement and activism in her book, The Power of Proximity, Moving Beyond Awareness to Action

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 and numerous others.

Michelle is the President of Virago Strategies, an agency that works to strengthen and equip the voices of women in the public square. 

She is married to her college sweetheart David Warren and has 3 adult children.