Melody M. Pannell has served in the field of social work, higher education and social justice ministry for over 25 years. Melody holds a Foundational Church Ministries Certificate from The Evangelical Training Association at The New York School of The Bible, a Bachelors in Social Work and Youth Ministry from Eastern Mennonite University, in Harrisonburg, Virginia and a Masters in Social Work from Fordham University in New York City. In addition, Melody Pannell obtained a Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Christian Education from The Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia and is a current graduate certificate student of Restorative Justice at the Center of Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University.
Recently, Melody Pannell served as Assistant Professor of Social Work in the Department of Applied Social Sciences, Director of Field Placement, Chairperson for the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and Vice – President of the Faculty Senate at Eastern Mennonite University. In her commitment as a community organizer, social justice advocate and ministry leader, Melody M. Pannell was appointed as the Chairperson for the Religious Affairs Committee serving the local NAACP Harrisonburg – Rockingham County Branch. In continuing her work in Racial Equity and Inclusion, Melody is a scholarship recipient for the 2018 Summer Reconciliation Institute at Duke Theological Seminary.
In her development in ministry, Pannell is an Engle Fellow for the 16th annual Joe R. Engle Institute of Preaching at Princeton Theological Seminary. Melody was recently appointed as the Board Chair for The Mennonite Inc. She was also selected as a RISE Mentee for the Inaugural RISE Together National Mentorship Network Class of 2020 through Union Theological Seminary and an official ACHI Magazine “Woman of Inspiration and Public Service” Award Nominee. Melody serves on several national and local boards as well as local community initiatives as the Chairperson of the Racial Equity Institute Harrisonburg – Rockingham. Melody Pannell is the Founder and CEO of Destiny’s Daughters Leadership Institute, a Therapeutic Mentoring Program dedicated to the personal transformation, holistic development and self – empowerment of young women and girls.
Melody Pannell is a recent full – fellow awardee and Nikki Giovanni Scholar for the 2019 Furious Flower Summer Legacy Seminar at James Madison University. As an academic scholar, social work practitioner, diversity administrator and community leader, Melody utilizes a variety of avenues to address historical harms, dignity violations and structured discriminations that affect the positive development and holistic well – being of marginalized populations. Her current academic scholarship interest, classroom teachings and hands – on practice include race and gender, trauma informed care, post – traumatic slave syndrome, critical race theory, crisis intervention, womanist theology, restorative justice, social work core competencies and intersectionality. It is her life mission to embody peacebuilding through the values and ethics of social work and encourage those that she serves to engage in a transformative journey of “emancipatory hope in action” and empowerment through restorative justice practices.