Michelle Mehrtens is a filmmaker and writer from Providence, Rhode Island. She graduated as a double major in English and History with a focus on Latin America from Brown University. While at Brown, she participated in the Opening the Archives Projectat the National Archives in Washington, D.C. This project partnered with Brazil’s National Truth Commission, an organization devoted to investigating human rights violations perpetrated during the country’s military dictatorship (1964-1985). As part of a research team, she digitized and indexed declassified U.S. State Department documents pertaining to American involvement in the social, political, and economic conflicts in Brazil.
During this time, she also worked as a documentary production intern at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. As lead interviewer for the Storied Lives Project, an audiovisual online exhibit that profiles social justice artists, she coordinated interviews, gathered research, and collaborated with a range of political activists. While there, she produced video interviews and crafted long-form articles, including “Revolutionary Truths: Challenging Mass Media as Minority Reporters” and “Politics and Profiling: The Personal Effects of Immigration Policy.”
After moving to New York, she worked on the TED-Ed production team, where she coordinated content production and publishing. She wrote a video lesson for TED-Ed titled "The historic women's suffrage march on Washington."
She is interested in further pursuing work that centers on issues of gender equality and immigration. She hopes to explore the politics of narration, particularly as it relates to civic engagement and community accountability.