Being the great grandson of Willie Lee Abernathy Jr., the great great grandson of Willie Lee Abernathy Sr. (who were both former Baptist Pastors), and a distant nephew of the Civil Rights icon, Reverend Ralph David Abernathy, Michael always felt that he had a call to leadership. Michael was born in Cincinnati, OH to two hard working parents; his father being a Cincinnati City bus driver and his mother being an entrepreneur. Together, they emphasized the importance of getting an education.
Michael went to work for his community At the very early age of 16. He volunteered as the president of a youth community group for at-risk inner city kids that focused on offering positive recreational activities. Although the program was a huge success in reaching over one hundred kids, the program did suffer a loss of one of the students due to gun violence. The tragic and untimely death made an imprint on Michael to work even harder. He took on the responsibility of being a community leader by becoming a Cincinnati Police Officer. Michael enjoyed working with the families in his community within the jurisdiction that he was assigned to and families commended him as a relevant community servant-leader.
In 2006, he relocated his family to the “Valley of the Sun” and five years later, he decided to pursue his undergraduate education at Arizona State University. While being in school and working as a father of two young sons, at the time, Michael joined Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated in 2011. This membership allowed him to further serve the community of Phoenix residents through several key initiatives of the organization. Those included mentoring high school students, registering citizens to vote, and leading networking programs.
Upon graduation from Arizona State University with a Bachelors’ in Communication, Michael immediately began serving alongside the graduate chapter Alpha Epsilon Sigma chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. by teaching college students how to organize and lead non profit organizations, and by bringing awareness to the needs of the homeless community. Representing the chapter as the 2nd Vice President allowed him that great responsibility he sought to have by serving the communities of Phoenix by providing resources such as book bag drives, college scholarships, and award ceremonies highlighting the lives of local community advocates.
In 2017, Michael was approached with the opportunity to lead as an educator and taught high school seniors for two years using a Cambridge Advanced Curriculum class elective called Global Perspectives. During the next three years, he was tapped to teach Social Studies to fifth grade students. Michael was able to establish mentors for participating fifth grade students with state leaders such as Senator Rebecca Rios.
Building and developing the next generation of leaders resonated with Michael in such a way that he enrolled in and completed his Masters’ in Educational Leadership through Northern Arizona University online program while continuing to teach. He passed his Administrator Certification test in 2021 through the Arizona Department of Education and is now supporting the learning initiatives of the Osborn School District community.
In 2022, Michael made the decision to run for House of Representatives in District 11. He was able to successfully gain enough signatures to get on the ballot for the Primary Election. From there, with the support of the community, Michael has high hopes to secure a seat in the November Election.
"I want to become a problem solver in the political process"