Today’s guest is a dynamic leader and social justice advocate.

She is a highly sought-after social justice thought partner recognized for her passion, activism, and unapologetic talk around anti-racist community building and healing.

With a diverse background spanning industries like college administration, media, public relations, government service, television/radio production, and entrepreneurship, her work has touched countless lives – locally, nationally, and internationally in Ghana and South Africa specifically.

Melannie is the Creator and Executive Producer of both The People's Gathering: A Revolution of Consciousness Conference and The People's Golf Gathering: Out of Bounds Conversations About Race – both professional development learning experiences that focus participants on anti-racist skill building.

In 2018, she was awarded the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize for her lifetime achievements in racial reconciliation. Her documentary about her trip to the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, “Peace Queen,” won a 2021 National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Northwest Emmy®.

Please join me in welcoming Peace Queen-Melannie Denise Cunningham.

Would you leave an honest rating and review on Apple Podcast? Or Stitcher? They are extremely helpful and I read each and every one of them. Thanks for the inspiration!

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “When I think about leadership, I think about followers. Who wants to follow me? I am thinking about creating possibilities to inspire people to follow me.”
  • Her experiences with leadership while in high school with community building and crossing cultures.
  • Why she’s having a blast “making stuff up” as she goes along.
  • How she came to be a founding member of Delta Sigma Theta Inc.
  • How she started the first indoor celebration for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s life in Tacoma (and now it’s still the most prominent indoor celebration of its kind).
  • Different ways to maximize the use of every single day.
  • How we can all center ourselves and our actions around joy.
  • Her initial goal of being a pediatrician, and when she decided that was not for her, and switching her major to General Studies.
  • Her experience of heading down to the unemployment office and getting hired at General Electric’s marketing department (and getting fired from that job for being a few minutes late a few times).
  • How she negotiated herself into being laid off in 1997. She didn’t know what path she needed to take, but she knew she was not on it.
  • How she helped open the first McDonald’s in South Africa (and the second and third)!
  • The awakening and how she stays focused and determined on anti-racist work.
  • How she repurposed the boxes on the US Census form to gather people and start healing through race and knowledge.
  • The difference between offering a “safe space” vs. a “supportive space.”
  • How working with me as their Zoom Producer has added a relational component to The People’s Gathering.
  • How she nurtures and sustains her network.
  • Her chile farm in Ghana!!


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Who is Robbie Samuels? 

🟧 I'm an event design consultant and executive Zoom producer, with a passion for creating engaging and unforgettable experiences. With two decades of experience in the meetings and events industry, I have honed my skills in designing and executing events that leave a lasting impression.

🟧 I have published three books to share my expertise. Collectively they have received over 600 Amazon reviews and reached #1 Best Seller in 29 paid categories in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia.

“Break Out of Boredom: Low-Tech Solutions for Highly Engaging Zoom Events” has received widespread acclaim. I am thrilled to help presenters and facilitators bring energy and excitement to their virtual events, and I am constantly seeking new ways to innovate and improve.

The book and bonus content are at Launch Price – $2.99 ebook (reg. $9.99) thru 3/31/23. The paperback is also available.

🟧 I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience with others, and I regularly speak at industry events and offer consulting services to help organizations and speakers achieve success in their own virtual or in-person events. If you're looking for creative solutions and expert guidance for your next event, I would be honored to work with you. Let's make your event one to remember!

► Do you have a podcast or host live interviews? I am looking for opportunities to share my business success story and strategies.

I've been featured in NPR, Forbes, Fast Company, HBR, Lifehacker, and Inc. as a networking expert and expert in virtual event design.

► In 2020, I reinvented my business from zero to a thriving six figures in eight months. My second book, “Small List, Big Results: Launch a Successful Offer No Matter the Size of Your Email List,” answers the question, “Robbie, how did you do that?”

More importantly, this international bestseller shows how YOU can do it too. Get your copy and The Big Results Toolkit bonus content at

► My first book, “Croissants vs. Bagels: Strategic, Effective, and Inclusive Networking at Conferences,” bonus content:

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