Named one of Forbes India's "30 Under 30" in 2017, Angellica Aribam has been working on issues of race, gender, and the democratization of politics for nearly a decade. Hailing from Manipur, in the ethnically and economically marginalized northeastern region of India, Angellica faced racial injustice and discrimination firsthand since her childhood. It motivated her to get involved in politics realizing that politics was the best way to change this status quo. In 2012, she became the first student from the marginalized northeastern region of India to be elected in the Delhi University Students' Union Executive Committee. Subsequently, she served as a National General Secretary of the National Students’ Union of India, the students' wing of Indian National Congress, for five years. In 2017, she decided to pause her political career to work on a larger goal - to get more women into politics.
As a first-generation woman politician, Angellica has lived and experienced the trials and tribulations of being a woman in politics in a deeply patriarchal society. Femme First Foundation is her way of paying it forward.
In her words, "The story of Femme First Foundation is intertwined with my story".
Angellica was an inaugural VVEngage Fellow for Women Political Leaders at Vital Voices, an American NGO founded by Hillary Clinton, where she was mentored by former women Prime Ministers of Canada, New Zealand, and Peru; and trained by professors of Harvard Kennedy School. She was also an ACYPL delegate, sponsored by US State Department, in 2020.
With a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from University of Delhi and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Peking University on a full governmental scholarship, Angellica is on a quest for learning. As a staunch advocate for gender and racial rights, she regularly writes for various Indian publications including The Indian Express, The Wire, The Times of India amongst others. In her spare time, she loves to read, cook, and model.
Michelle Hails from Kerala originally but has spent the last 12 years in multiple places across the country for work and studies including North East India where she spent her last 2 years working on what she is most passionate about – Education in remote and challenging areas.
She holds an undergraduate degree in Economics and Psychology from Sophia College for Women, Mumbai and a post graduate degree in MA Education from Azim Premji University, Bangalore and will always be up for a dialogue around the topics of Education & Women's rights.
Michelle is also an avid traveler and never skips an opportunity to meet new people and understand new perspectives. She is very curious and always looking forward to learning and unlearning new things