Tacoma, WA – For her exemplary work promoting racial reconciliation, the Board of Directors has selected Tacoma Resident Melannie Denise Cunningham as the 2018 Greater Tacoma Peace Prize Laureate. Nominator Professor Joanne Lisosky writes, “Melannie is a visionary, educator, community servant and consummate peace builder.”
Cunningham uses her years of knowledge, coalition building, and strategic planning to host The People’s Gathering. It is an annual conference which brings together business leaders, human resource professionals, educators, and students to engage in frank conversations about race. American society is moving backwards. Discussions to deny individuals their rights are no longer behind closed doors.
Cunningham was inspired to encourage people to speak by a quotation from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, “A time comes when silence is betrayal.”The People’s Gathering equips professionals with tools to use existing policy to fight cultural stereotypes, institutional racism, and discrimination in the workplace, instead of reinforcing them. The more than 200 individuals who participate in the conference each year continue the sometime difficult conversations about race and move the issue forward in the greater Tacoma community.