Representative in the 10th District (Detroit, MI)
Shanelle is a proud product of Northwest Detroit. She is the eldest child of three. Shanelle is no stranger to hard work, family loyalty, and community service. The unexpected death of her father at a young age propelled Shanelle into a world of immediate responsibility causing her to mature quickly. She dedicated her early years to raising her younger siblings while partnering with her mother to ensure the survival of their family. Shanelle continues to balance the pressures of family, law school and now a Masters of Social Justice Program, and work, while making significant contributions to her community.
Shanelle’s love for family fostered her great love for community. She has been a member of Word of Faith for 20 years. Her involvement includes the choir, youth ministry, and the praise team leader. Shanelle is a by-product of the Detroit Public School system where she graduated from Redford High School. Shanelle graduated form University of Michigan in 2002 with a BA in Political Science. After attending classes to obtain Jurist Doctorate, Shanelle decided to attend classes for a Masters in Social Justice. She believes that the information she acquires in this program will assist her in her mission of transforming her community. Even during school, Shanelle has an unyielding desire to serve, educate and incite political activism in the hearts of Detroit residents.
This driven young woman has continued her commitment to the city of Detroit serving as Deputy Chief of Staff for State Representative Virgil Smith. As the Deputy Chief of Staff, Shanelle functioned as the Director of District Operations. Her leadership was crucial in shaping policies, reinvigorating the youth voting sector, and operating as the point of contact and assisting constituents with a myriad of concerns. Shanelle is the founder of the Youth Empowerment Coalition; an organization dedicated to serving the students of Detroit Public Schools. She understands the significance of voting, having served as a community liaison for Vote Smart, a non profit organization which has registered over 10,000 young adults to vote in Detroit. She is currently an active member of several community organizations including the Northwest District Community Policing Organization, Girl Scott Leader Troop # 6751, N.A.A.C.P., Young Adults Reclaiming Detroit (Y.A.R.D), Voting is Power (V.I.P), and the Michigan Democratic Party.
Shanelle ran in the Primary for State Representative in the 10th District in 2004, where as a first time candidate she placed third, garnering more votes on Election Day than any other candidate. She remains resolved in her commitment to make the lives of her fellow citizens better. This community is my home, the people in it are my family, they are who I am, and I am Detroit’s Daughter.”