Rev. Melanie is a womanist ethicist, millennial preacher, and intellectual activist. She earned a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Howard University and a Master of Divinity with a certificate in Black Church Studies from Vanderbilt University Divinity School. Currently, she is a Doctor of Philosophy candidate at Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS) studying ethics, theology, and culture. Her doctoral dissertation entitled “Up Against a Crooked Gospel: Black Women’s Bodies and the Politics of Character in Religion and Society” interrogates Black women’s body politics and moral formation engaging approaches in womanist theological ethics, African American religious history and Black aesthetics. For her research, Melanie has received distinguished fellowships and awards including Villanova University Church Management Research Fellowship (2018-19), Louisville Institute Dissertation Fellowship (2017-18), Forum for Theological Exploration (2012-14) and CTS Presidential and C. Shelby Rooks Scholarships. Rev. Melanie is a thinking woman of faith advocating for social transformation in the Church, classroom, and global community. Rev. Melanie is the 2018-19 Crump Visiting Assistant Professor and Black Religious Scholar in Residence at The Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, TX. She has lectured at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, TX, American Baptist College in Nashville, TN, Chicago Theological Seminary and The Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, IL teaching introductory and upper-level face-to-face and online courses in humanities, theology, Christian social ethics, gender/sexuality studies and writing. Her most recent article “The Will to Adorn: Beyond Self-Surveillance, Toward a Womanist Ethic of Redemptive Self-Love” in Black Theology: An International Journal edited by Tamura Lomax was published July 2018. Melanie’s writings are featured in popular digital and print publications including The Feminist Wire, Chicago Theological Seminary Challenge & Response Magazine, The Forum for Theological Exploration Blog, Alpha Kappa Alpha Ivy Leaf Magazine, Sunday School Publishing Board — National Baptist Convention, USA and Urban Ministries, Incorporated.