Zaki Michaels headshot



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Zaki joins ACLU-WV with more than five years of experience in investigative and public relations journalism as the new legal investigator.

He provides first-hand research, documents, and leads in support of the legal director’s active and pending litigation. Zaki is also streamlining operations for ACLU-WV at its headquarters in Charleston.

In his spare time, Zaki helps run three stream teams through, all focused on uplifting marginalized content creators: The Breadbox, a charity-focused stream team that has raised nearly $30,000 for various nonprofit organizations since January of 2021; Transtopia, Twitch’s very first stream team created and run exclusively by trans and gender diverse content creators; and Kind Crafters, a stream team for marginalized makers and crafters like Zaki. Recently, Kind Crafters received a blanket sponsorship through Zaki’s connections with KnitPicks. Zaki also runs an active Etsy shop with hand-crafted goods aimed at uplifting LGBTQIA2+ individuals. He recently started making gender and size-inclusive wearable items for his friends and family. 

Zaki lives with his partner and two cats in Charleston, all transplants from Southern California. He’s loved every moment of being among the mountains and trees here in West Virginia, because there are opportunities here to make a difference. “You get to know people, not just the institutions they come from here,” he said.