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Michealene Cristini Risley papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 2022.risley
The Michealene Cristini Risley papers are a collection of product and licensing materials from her position at Sega of America from 1993-1995, as well as audiovisual media produced by Risley at her non-profit organization, Freshwater Haven. Additional scope and content information can be found in the Contents List section of this finding aid.

The Michealene Cristini Risley papers have been arranged into two series. The physical materials are housed in one document box and one audiovisual media box.


  • 1992 - 2009



The materials in this collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is open for research use by staff of The Strong and by users of its library and archives. Though the donor has not transferred intellectual property rights (including, but not limited to any copyright, trademark, and associated rights therein) to The Strong, she has given permission for The Strong to make copies in all media for museum, educational, and research purposes.


0.75 Linear Feet (1 document box, 1 a/v box)

2.1 Gigabytes (Digital files accessible on-site.)


The Michealene Cristini Risley papers are a compilation of materials from her position at Sega of America, as well as her non-profit organization Freshwater Haven.

Biographical Note

Michealene Cristini Risley is an American author, activist, entrepreneur, and former consumer products executive at Sega of America.

Risley worked in the consumer products and entertainment industry for several years before joining Sega of America in 1993, where she built the consumer products and entertainment division. There, Risley established the Sega Girls Task Force to address gender representation in games and animation. She also led the division in turning the video game character Sonic the Hedgehog into a billion-dollar brand and working on licensing real-life athletes and sports teams for video game use.

Risley later founded and ran the non-profit organization Freshwater Haven to bring to market publications and media to raise awareness of global issues. Notably, she wrote, produced, and directed the 2002 short film Flashcards, an award-winning film on sexual abuse. Risley also co-wrote, produced, and directed the feature-length 2009 documentary Tapestries of Hope, which followed Zimbabwean activist Betty Makoni and her efforts to help sexually abused young women through the Child Girl Network. In 2007, Risley co-authored the book This Is Not the Life I Ordered: 50 Ways to Keep Your Head Above Water When Life Keeps Dragging You Down; the book was revised and updated in 2019.

Risley continues to be involved in human rights activism, as well as public speaking.

System of Arrangement

Series I: Sega of America, 1992-1996 and n.d.

Series II: Freshwater Haven, 2002, 2009

Custodial History

The Michealene Cristini Risley papers were donated to The Strong in September 2021 and September 2022 as a gift from Michealene Cristini Risley and Eric Foster Risley. The papers were accessioned by The Strong under Object IDs 121.7341 (Activity ID 14730) and 122.1906 (Activity ID 14942) and were received from Risley along with a video game.

Processed by

Julia Novakovic, August-September 2022
Finding Aid to the Michealene Cristini Risley Papers, 1992-2009
Julia Novakovic
16 September 2022
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository

The Strong
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA
585.423.1886 (Fax)