Melinda Weekes-Laidlow is a social change architect, expert facilitator, ordained minister, and social entrepreneur. She is 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, Vermont and served for several years as the managing director for Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation. Previously, Melinda founded and operated her own transactional law firm in New York City and was a senior associate at the Interaction Institute for Social Change, where she now serves on its board. Melinda is on the advisory board of Wesleyan University’s Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship and serves on the ministerial staff at the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York. In 2015, Echoing Green named Melinda its first-ever Social Entrepreneur in Residence which supported her work as Founder/CEO of Beautiful Ventures, a platform to disrupt anti-Blackness and elevate perceptions of people of African descent through inclusive storytelling in popular culture. Melinda holds degrees from Wesleyan University, Harvard University and New York University School of Law. As a native New Yorker born in the Bronx, Melinda flows between the Big Apple and the Big Peach – Atlanta, GA – where she now makes home and community.