- Work: Weekes in Advance Enterprises
- Eduation: BA, Wesleyan University; JD, New York University School of Law; MDiv, Harvard University
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 equitym and collaborative leadership spaces. Clients include The Smithsonian, Columbia University, Novo Foundation, and NAMAC (National Alliance for Media Arts & Culture). In addition to heading up her own 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.
For several years, Melinda was 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 disciplines into her launch of a social impact fund designed to address the problem of anti-black racism. Melinda is an alumna of the Sojourner Truth Leadership Circle Fellowship at 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. She is ordained clergy, serving on the ministerial staff of the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York, and holds degrees from Wesleyan University, Harvard University, and New York University School of Law.