July 15, 1971 – Mickel Shari Mozoto Brann-Challenger was born to Fitzroy Brann of Freetown and Ineta Brann nee Barnes of English Harbour. Her formative years were spent at De Souza Road and Blackout in Antigua and East Bronx, New York in the US.
She recalls fondly her first teacher Wattey, who schooled her under the ginep tree at Blackout. She was in uniform daily under the tree in keeping with the times, as all the other children around her went to their school in uniform. She then attended the primary department of the Christ the King High School until her family migrated to the US. During her teenage years she discovered musical theatre resulting in her eventual placement after a successful audition at Talent Unlimited High School in Julia Richman.
Mickel was awarded a scholarship from the Partnership for Minority Interest in Media (parent company Fox) which facilitated the completion of degree in Communications and Broadcasting at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, NY. She has extensive training in media through Post Graduate Certifications and a series of short courses; she is also trained in film writing.
A journalist at heart, Mickel has almost 30 years in the news industry, climbing the rungs from cub reporter to newsroom editor and manager. She was the first female sports anchor in Antigua and Barbuda and the first woman to host a sports magazine show. Her professional portfolio includes a myriad of news organizations, including ABS Radio and TV, Antigua Sun, Source Antigua and Barbuda, and Observer Media Group. As a communications consultant and independent contractor, she works for public sector and multinational organizations, companies, and individuals.
Mickel is also the communications specialist with the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), which is the umbrella body for 31 football associations spanning the Dutch, French, English and Spanish-speaking Caribbean. She counts among her most valued projects the CFU’s Girls Play football program, which she conceptualized and currently manages. The program which was launched on International Women’s Day March 8, 2021, celebrate Caribbean women and girls in football with a vision to recruit and retain more women in the sport. It also addresses the barriers to women’s participation in the sport while highlighting the benefits and opportunities for women in football across the thirty-one member countries.
Mickel was also a part of the administrative team providing invaluable support to the record breaking Team Antigua Island Girls. The group of administrators were dubbed the ‘nerve centre’ behind the on water experience.
Mickel remarked “I am steeped in sports and culture and what wasn’t learned by osmosis was taught intentionally. This includes communications.” Mickel’s father published a fortnightly broadsheet, The Lantern, and the appreciation for news and newsgathering was ignited early.
Mickel is a gender activist, mentor, a student of life committed to lifelong learning, a business owner, lover of the arts and sports and an undercover comedian.