Michelle D. Bernard

Attorney, Author, Columnist, Media Commentator and Political Analyst, Journalist & Think Tank CEO


An attorney by training, Michelle D. Bernard is a writer, opinion columnist, blogger, political and policy analyst, media commentator, social critic, author, columnist, public speaker, and president & CEO of the Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy. She has provided commentary on topics as varied as presidential elections and politics, various Congressional and gubernatorial campaigns and elections; civil rights, social, racial, and gender justice; the political participation and voting trends of African Americans, Latino’s, women and millennials, education reform and school choice, foreign policy and national security issues, and advancing democracy, economic liberty, and the human rights of women and ethnic and religious minorities in the Middle East.
She is particularly interested in how national and local politics, policy, and elections affect matters of racial, social and gender justice, national security, terrorism and the military, and the advancement of democracy, economic liberty, and the human rights of women and ethnic and religious minorities globally. and non-governmental organizations.

Ms. Bernard is the author of numerous opinion editorials that have appeared in various publications. Also, she is the author of “Naming the Sin: Are Churches Helping to Stop Domestic Violence or Enabling It,” Sojourner’s (December 2013), Moving America Toward Justice: The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, 1963-2013 (2013), Women’s Progress: How Women Are Wealthier, Healthier and More Independent Than Ever Before (2007) and "November 4, 2008: An Ode to Black America," published in "The State of Black America 2009: Message to the President" (The National Urban League 2009), and "Powerful Beyond Measure," published in "Secrets of Powerful Women: Leading Change for a New Generation" (Lifetime Entertainment Services 2010).

In March 2016, she was awarded a distinguished alumni achievement award from Howard University for outstanding post-graduate achievement in the fields of media, journalism and public policy. In 2015, Bernard was awarded the Anvil of Freedom Award for journalism and democracy by the University of Denver’s Edward W. and Charlotte A. Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media. Later that year, the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University announced that Ms. Bernard was being honored on the University’s Plaza of Heroines.

Ms. Bernard holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and political science from Howard University and a Juris Doctor degree from The Georgetown University Law Center.



Donning Company
Moving America Toward Justice: The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law 1963-2013

In Moving America Toward Justice: The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, 1963–2013 Michelle D. Bernard has deftly illustrated how the Lawyers’ Committee quietly went about sculpting the American civil rights movement by transposing the struggle for racial justice from the streets to the courtroom. The early work of the Lawyers’ Committee caused the fundamental shift in the American conscious to regard the defense of individual constitutional rights as the paramount obligation of...

Secrets of Powerful Women: Leading Change for a New Generation/Voice, Hyperion
Powerful Beyond Measure

Top Women In American Politics Share Their Keys to Power - and How to Use Them

State Of Black America 2009
An Ode to Black America

See Also: “The State of Black America” July 2009 plenary session of the National Urban League’s 2009 annual conference. Panelists discussed the recent meeting between President Obama, Henry Louis Gates, and Cambridge police office James Crowley. They also talked about current race relations in America. Following their discussion, they answered questions from the audience. Soledad O’Brien moderated. Panelists included Michelle D. Bernard, Michael Eric Dyson, and John Jackson, among others:...

Blogs, Opinion Editorials, Etc.

Roll Call
MIA: The Black Men Who Ought to Have Shown Up for Donna Edwards

Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., after a Maryland Senate candidate forum with Rep. Chris Van Hollen earlier this month. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) Before the fractious Maryland Democratic primary battle between Donna Edwards and Chris Van Hollen ended in defeat for Edwards on Tuesday night, it laid bare the depth of America's problems with race and gender.

The 74 Media
Opinion: Why Are We Arresting Mothers for 'Stealing' a Public Education?

In the 21st century, however, moving kids to the school next door has suddenly become a crime, and an increasing number of parents — often poor, minority, and female — are being arrested and convicted for lying about their address in hopes of rescuing their little ones from dangerous and under-performing schools. In numerous cases, mothers have actually been thrown behind bars for “stealing” an education. And it’s happening more often than you might think.

Washington Post
With Women In Combat, Will Military Finally Address Epidemic of Sexual Assault?

The irony is that while Defense is ready to allow women to serve in combat roles, the Air Force (and probably other branches of the military) is still struggling with how to protect the women and men in its ranks from sexual assault by their peers and commanders during basic training. Rape and sexual assault should not be “incidental” to military service.

Washington Post
Michelle Obama and the broadsides on the black woman's backside

Krissah Thompson's story, " Michelle Obama's Posterior Again the Subject of Public Rant " got me thinking about somatic norm image - in other words, how cultures define beauty - and about my days as an undergraduate at Howard University, one of the nation's premier historically black universities.

Washington Post
The GOP's savior will be a woman

Tuesday's Republican response to the President's State of the Union Address was proof positive that today's Republican Party is in purgatory. Yes, I said it. The party of Lincoln and Douglass is in a place that may, or may not be, temporary punishment for its sins.

Washington Post
Betty Friedan and black women: Is it time for a second look?

Betty Friedan's "The Feminine Mystique" turned 50 this week. At the time of its publication, "Singletons" (circa 1963 defined as an unmarried woman) did not have a legal right to birth control. Married women did not have equal access to credit. In some states, married women could not get a job without the permission of their husbands.

Washington Post
A bone to pick with the Oscars

Oscar night is upon us. I am usually asleep by the time the best actor, actress and picture of the year are announced, but it is, nevertheless, one of my favorite evenings of the year. In fact, every year, I do my best to see every movie nominated for an Oscar before the program airs.

Washington Post
Rachel Jeantel proves that this July 4th, Jim Crow lives

Racial justice in America is disintegrating at warp speed. On matters of race, the ugly America of yesteryear - segregationist George Wallace's America - is still with us. We must stanch its revival before it spreads and, like locusts, blankets our country with anti-black sentiments. The U.S.

The Huffington Post
An Open Letter to Chris Powell From a Single Mother

I am a divorced, single mother of two lovely children. And I'm African-American, too. These facts alone inevitably lead to a cornucopia of stereotypes about single mothers whether African-American, Hispanic or white as "baby mamas" destroying America's virtue. All of the stereotypes are tiresome and the latest is just plain stupid.

Sojourners Magazine
Naming the Sin

Are churches helping to stop domestic violence-or enabling it?

The Huffington Post
The State of the Teachers' Union

I must confess -- I look forward to the State of the Union every year, no matter who the president is. Sure, it's a long speech with staged pauses so approximately half of Congress can stand and applaud, giving us a visual reminder of just how divided this country is.

Washington Post
Sorry, North Carolina. Marriage is a basic civil right.

I am a Christian. I believe that America is the greatest nation on earth. I also believe that the much-ballyhooed fight to preserve the socially conservative notion of "traditional American family values" is nothing more than an attempt to go back in time to an era where white males dictated culturally, legally, and politically, virtually all aspects of how Americans lived their lives.

Washington Post
Scott Walker's survival isn't the 'end of democracy'

This should also remind us that there is no daylight between "issues" and "women's issues." With the state's finances at risk, so were family budgets across the state. That threatened women as workers and women as mothers. That's why women numbered among Walker's prominent backers.

US News & World Report
School Choice Is the Most Critical Civil Rights Issue of Our Time

Michelle D. Bernard is the president and CEO of the Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy and an MSNBC political analyst. Remember those commercials in which people would be blindfolded and asked to try a product and then say which one they thought tasted the best?

The Huffington Post
Obesity Problem Is About Personal Responsibility and Access

Regarding Kristin Wartman's August 1st column, " Food Industry Would Prefer to Regulate Itself," Ms. Wartman casts the food and advertising industry as the callous, corporate villain for a problem that, in truth, is really about personal responsibility and access to healthy and affordable foods.

The Washingtion Times
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Food ban would be costly, absurd

I am in total agreement with Beth Johnson's Aug. 8 Commentary column, "Enough to make you lose your appetite." Proposed restrictions on food marketing, designed by a government interagency working group, have little, if any, rationale considering the food they would end up targeting.

Washington Post
Healthy food is hard to find in Barry Farms

Katherine Mangu-Ward made several valid points in her Oct. 16 Outlook piece, "5 Myths about healthy eating." However, the notion that poor families lack access to nutritious foods is not the stretch she makes it out to be. Take, for example, Barry Farms, in the District's Ward 8.

The Huffington Post
A More Constructive Approach to Fighting Childhood Obesity

A recent column by Huffington Post contributor Donald Cohen would lead readers to believe that the food industry -- and anyone else who disagrees with the government's proposed guidelines on the marketing of food to children -- simply doesn't care about our nation's childhood obesity epidemic.

US News & World Report
Barack Obama Should Put Empowerment on His Economic Agenda

Barack Obama has embarked upon a historic presidency. His first priority is the economy, and particularly creating millions of jobs. But he should link empowerment to employment. Success would provide him with a critical substantive legacy to add to his already dramatic achievement. The U.S.

New York Post

At an address before the Independent Women's Forum in 2006, Condoleezza Rice made a spine-tingling statement: "[T]he fact is that our Founding Fathers, trying to create a perfect union of 'We the People,' couldn't quite find a way to deal with slavery. So instead, they left my ancestors to be three-fifths of a man.

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