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Melissa Darnell

Melissa Darnell

Human-centered Design, Facilitation, Training, Project Management

Melissa leads our expanding training program through recruitment, planning, and delivery. She also manages our digital marketing and social media outreach and engagement and conducts stakeholder research for special projects.


Specializing in relationship building as a vehicle to bring about positive social outcomes, Melissa brings over two decades of experience in facilitation, deepening community engagement and campaign management to her work. She is passionate about strengths-based interventions that build upon individuals' unique social and cultural assets as a strategy to solve complex social problems.   


Though primarily focused on rural communities, Melissa's work has been featured in a number of regional and national platforms including The California Endowment, Community Foundations Leading Change, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Research Network. Her work in rural youth leadership and development is highlighted in the recently published Twenty Years of Life: Why The Poor Die Earlier and How to Change Inequality by Suzanne Bohan. 


Melissa holds a master's degree in Social Work where she focused her studies on macro practice interventions and collective empowerment strategies to advance systems change. She has a BA in Sociology from the University of Oregon and resides with her family on the unceded lands of the Wintu people in northern California. 

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