Melanie S. Morrison, Ph.D., is founder and executive director of Allies for Change. She is a seasoned social justice educator, activist, and author with 30 years experience designing and facilitating transformational group process. Melanie has provided training and consultation for a wide variety of educational and non-profit organizations including Michigan State University’s College of Education, Yale Divinity School, and Hunter College School of Social Work. With Shayla Griffin, Ph.D., she designed and facilitated trainings for Creating Culturally Proficient Communities, a five-year initiative on racial and economic justice for the Ypsilanti Community School district in Michigan.
Passionate about writing, Melanie is the author of four books including The Grace of Coming Home: Spirituality, Sexuality, and the Struggle for Justice and she has written more than fifty articles for American and Dutch periodicals. Her newest book – Murder on Shades Mountain: The Legal Lynching of Willie Peterson and the Struggle for Justice in Jim Crow Birmingham – was published in the spring of 2018 by Duke University Press.
As a keynote speaker at national and regional conferences, Melanie has addressed issues of racial, disability, and sexual justice. In 1994, she co-founded Doing Our Own Work, an intensive anti-racism program for white people that has attracted hundreds of participants from all across North America. She served as consultant to the United Church of Christ Sacred Conversation on Race, a national initiative launched in 2008.
Prior to founding Allies for Change, Melanie was executive director of The Leaven Center, a retreat and study center in Lyons, Michigan dedicated to nurturing the relationship between spirituality and social justice. As a United Church of Christ pastor, she has served three congregations; two in Michigan and one in the Netherlands. She has also served as adjunct faculty at Chicago Theological Seminary and the Methodist Theological School in Ohio.
Melanie has a Masters of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and a Ph.D. in theology from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. She lives in Okemos, Michigan with her life partner, April Allison.