Ciera Payton is an actress (Tyler Perry’s The Oval and the Wendy Williams Movie), writer, and recipient of the 2016 Los Angeles Pioneer Woman of the Year. As an accomplished actress, Ciera’s first role was the female lead in the action feature Flight of Fury, starring opposite Steven Seagal. She has since then shared the screen with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Nicolas Cage, Kevin Hart, Josh Brolin, and many more acclaimed artists. Recently, Ciera portrayed the infamous talk show host Wendy Williams in the Lifetime biopic Wendy Williams: The Movie and stars as Lilly Winthrop in BET’s The Oval.
Her mission is simple: She aspires to inspire those seeking the desire to express their truth! She understands the importance of arts education in underserved communities. She has always been passionate about youth impacted by mass incarceration due to her first-hand experience with an incarcerated father and thus began working with this community in 2013.
Ciera has found a way to combine her personal journey with the skills and training acquired from her studies at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, and her time served as Associate Director of What Girls Know, to create a platform for youth and families impacted by the challenges of having a loved one behind bars. All of which led to the creation of The Michael’s Daughter Foundation. Through the Foundation, she seeks to bring those impacted by the carceral system her capacity to channel her feelings into healthy coping mechanisms, thereby allowing those served the opportunity to defy statistics that plague black and brown communities and bypass the cyclical norms of incarceration. For Payton, this organization goes beyond the arts; it serves as a means to help black and brown communities thrive and shift the negative societal perceptions to help create a work that supports these communities allowing them to shine.