About Michelle's Work

Michelle Estelle Lewis is founder and Executive Director of Peace Garden Project, a nonprofit focused on Environmental Justice, Food Justice and the intersectionality of the justice issues present in our society. She is also a former Certified Unaffiliated Candidate for the U.S. Senate in North Carolina. Previously, Michelle was Pastor of the United Methodist Church in East Berlin, and a multifaith Chaplain at Hartford Hospital. At Hartford Hospital, she worked on a research project that looks at Greenspace, Spirituality and Improved Patient Outcomes. Michelle also spent two years as the Youth Worker at Newtown United Methodist Church. Michelle graduated from Yale with a Master of Environmental Science, and a Master of Divinity. She is the first woman of color to complete the joint degree program in religion in ecology at Yale. While at Yale her research focused on connecting under-served populations to the environment, and the potential role of religion in these endeavors. Michelle formerly served as Chair of the Environmental Justice Committee for the New Haven Branch of the NAACP. She also spent time working at the United Nations in an internship as an advisor to the Federated States of Micronesia on Climate Policy. Before beginning at Yale, Michelle spent 12 years as a United States Park Ranger, working as a Biological Science Technician, Educator, and Law Enforcement Officer. Michelle has produced two award winning documentaries, 'Stairway to the Top of Hatteras,' for which she was awarded a Communicator Award of Distinction with Boyer Video and “Law Enforcement in the National Park Service”, that won the NPS Intake Program award for innovation and creativity. Michelle holds a B.A. from Elizabeth City State University, and a M.A. from Regent University.