WONder Woman Sheryl Mitchell Honored by Women Officials Network (video)

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(Crystal A. Proxmire, May 2, 2015)

From the Saturdays spent hanging out in a barber shop in Detroit where her dad and the guys would talk politics, to the being the first African American and first female City Manager of Albion, Michigan, Dr. Sheryl Mitchell’s road to leadership was paved with hard work and a confident attitude. But it was also helped by others in her life. And when Mitchell was honored with a WONder Woman award on April 30 from the Women Officials Network, she took care to acknowledge that her success was a team effort.

“Sometimes life is about what you have to do to break through barriers,” Mitchell said. “You don’t do it alone. There’s people in my life who should be standing beside me and they’re here in spirit.”

Candlewickshop_May2014As Mitchell grew into a leader with a resume seven pages long, her parents played a big role. She said she was a Daddy’s girl, who picked up the spirit of standing up as early as the second grade.

“The first sign should have come to my parents when I was in second grade and I refused to salute the American flag until there was equality in America… They said I had to salute the American flag, that it was required. So I did. I did the Black Panther salute. They double promoted me to the third grade,” she said.

Longtime friend Cheryl Thames introduced Mitchell, referencing in awe some of her accomplishments including being a graduate of The White House Project and a member of the National Congress of Black Women. Mitchell has vast experience in government administration,seed8453274382_Pamela Williams including as a Senior Analyst for the Oakland County Board of Commissioners.

Thames kept bringing it back home to the barbershop though, saying “Where you are now, is where you were then.”

“Sheryl was listening at a different level. …She was learning about civil rights and she was learning about equality. And she was learning about the things that run our government because that’s what they guys in the barber shop would talk about.”

As an adult the many agencies Mitchell is part of combine to make up the base of her career, and her passion for helping others succeed as well. The Women Officials Network holds a place in ctechadher heart and her story. “WON provides links so we can cross barriers and there are opportunities,” Mitchell said.

Five women were added to the ranks of WONder Women, and their stories will be added over the next few days:

Anne Doyle

Sheryl Mitchell

Ann Heler

Kelly Garrett

Nanci Grant

For more on the Women Officials Network go to http://www.womenofficialsnetwork.org/.

For the 2014 WONder Women go to: http://oaklandcounty115.com/2014/05/01/wonder-women-recognized-for-changing-the-world-video/

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