Michael Patton is a retired secondary school teacher of the Kansas City Public School District. He began his involvement in social activism while growing up in the Civil Rights Movement as a member of C.O.R.E. As a college student he served as a member of the Black Student Alliance of Westminster College working to advance the goals of black students on that campus. During his professional career as a case manager in a correctional facility, he spoke out against the privatizing of correctional systems and worked as an advocate for fair and humane treatment for both inmates and staff. As a classroom teacher and union executive he called for the increased participation of minorities in educational systems and has been an advocate for the continued inclusion of minority histories as valuable and necessary for enhancing the dialogue between the diverse parts of the American society. Michael’s activism has also been expressed in the arts. Michael worked for several years instructing students for the Gems of 18th and Vine, a research and writing project sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation and UMKC. He has performed with the Gorilla Theater Group and the Theater Gym. His poetry is a reflection of his advocacy of art as a revolutionary necessity. He is currently serving as a member of the Arts Industry Sector Council; a group of artists and arts groups working with the Economic Development Corporation to promote the arts in Kansas City. He is also serving on the Board of Directors of the Black Archives of Mid-America. As a member of the African American Artists Collective, he continues to work to promote the artistic endeavors of artists struggling to be recognized for their talents and excellence.