Michaela Leslie-Rule is a researcher, storyteller and cultural strategist. For the past 15 years Michaela has supported communities, non-profit leaders and philanthropic institutions to advance racial and gender justice by leveraging the power of stories. She employs participatory and collaborative design methodologies to measure and document social and organizational change, and has co-created, with community members, research, strategy and storytelling projects in the United States and East and Central Africa.
She frequently collaborates with Goodwin Simon Strategic Research, a public opinion research firm, where she co-led Striving to Thriving, a multi-year research project supported by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that explores Black, Latinx and young people experiencing poverty’s attitudes and mindsets related to education and work. She is also a member of Wonder: Strategies for Good, a network of independent communications strategists who use values-based messaging to advance change on sensitive social issues. She is currently working to translate the findings from Striving to Thriving into tools and other public assets to support the field.
In addition to her consulting practice, Michaela is an artist. She is a founding collaborator of the Spiritual Technologies Project, a collaboration between composers, musicians and other culture bearers, that explores the unique knowledge held by Black people in the American South. She holds Master’s degrees of Public Health and Public Administration from the University of Washington and a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree from New York University.