social change architect - master facilitator - entrepreneur - coach - producer
Melinda Weekes-Laidlow is the President of Weekes In Advance Enterprises, an organizational development firm offering consulting, facilitation, coaching and professional development services in arts and culture, social innovation, racial equity and collaborative leadership spaces. Melinda is also a graduate Professor of Management at Marlboro College in Brattleboro, VT.
After heading up her own transactional law firm for several years, Melinda served as Interim General Counsel of Carver National Bank and worked as a Senior Associate for the Interaction Institute for Social Change, where she built the capacity of individuals, communities and networks towards more effective, collaborative and inclusive social change.
Deepening her focus on systemic and institutional change work, Melinda then spent several years as the Managing Director for Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation, publisher of the news website Colorlines and presenter of Facing Race, the nation’s largest multi-racial, multi-disciplinary, inter-generational gathering on racial justice. There, she led organizational change initiatives, chaired its senior management team and supervised national projects in the areas of media, applied research and racial equity consulting.
Ignited by the transformative possibilities at the intersection of art, business and social change, Melinda is weaving these sensibilities into her entrepreneurial work as Founder of Beautiful Ventures, a social impact fund focused on early stage creative businesses.
A native New Yorker who flows between the Big Apple and the Big Peach, Melinda is an alumna of the Sojourner Truth Leadership Circle Fellowship of Auburn Seminary, serves on the Advisory Board of the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Wesleyan University, and is a Social Entrepreneur in Residence at Echoing Green. As a member of the ordained clergy, she is a member of the ministerial staff of the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York and views all of her work as a function of her calling. Weekes-Laidlow holds degrees from Wesleyan University, Harvard University and New York University School of Law.
creating conditions that ignite, challenge and empower individuals, groups and networks
PHOTO: Intergenerational Healing Conversation
In December 2016, Melinda served as the lead process designer and facilitator for the Campaign for Black Male Achievement's Rumble Young Man Rumble intergenerational session at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY. Since 2010, Rumble Young Man Rumble is an annual convening of leaders nationwide to share promising practices, lessons learned, and create collaborations among those working to better outcomes for Black men and boys across the United States.
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