Michelle Lanier has been an instructor at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University since 2000. Growing up in a family that includes veterans of five American wars has inspired her current work, training students to collect veterans' narratives. Michelle also serves as the director of North Carolina's African American Heritage Commission and the Heritage and Traditions section of the NC Arts Council. Michelle uses her background as an oral historian and folklorist to connect communities around personal narratives and cultural expression. With countless hours of oral history interviews under her belt, Michelle considers her most sacred work the act of bearing witness to the transformative power of story.