Light Up Episode 03 | Education, Community + Equality with Michael Warren

“Whether it’s through education, whether it’s through the church, whether it’s through music, I want to help promote good in this world.”

Michael Warren

Meet Michael Warren, an award-winning educator, administrator, musician, and powerful advocate for Black youth in Pittsburgh.

Michael serves as Assistant Principal for Pittsburgh King K–8 and is pursuing his doctorate in educational leadership and social justice. You may recognize him from a Pittsburgh Penguins game, where he sings the National Anthem, or from his live performance with Hamilton’s Leslie Odom, Jr. He released A Peace of Christmas (2019) and is at work on his second album. 

In this episode of Light Up, Michael shares his brilliant, buoyant journey of resilience—from surviving the foster system and evading homelessless to navigating higher education and transforming his personal health. He reflects on his revelations along the way, including:

  • To be an effective ally, you must listen and acknowledge that you don’t know the truth of someone else’s experience.
  • Don’t wait for better circumstances to begin enjoying your life. Expect and trust that your challenges are learning opportunities—and sweetness will come.
  • Family is more than biological. It’s a choice to love and allow yourself to be loved.
  • There is always someone witnessing your journey. You have an opportunity to be a teacher—whether inside or outside of a classroom.
  • Sometimes, all you need is one chance to get back on your feet. Will you take advantage of that chance? Will you empower someone else with a chance?
  • Find your purpose, go all in, and bring others along with you. How are you going to make tomorrow worth living for?

Listen now: Join us for a transformative conversation about the power of finding your “why” and your “for who?”

Connect with Michael!
Instagram: @michael.j.warren