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Cast Spotlight: Melanie Funchess

"So there have been generations of women, generations of Black mamas breathing love, breathing life, breathing hope, and inhaling the pain of the struggle and holding it deep in their belly so that the children may breathe free. I am the descendant of these women.

My mother was this woman.

I am this woman.

I will share with you how

Mama Mel came to be."


Ms. Melanie Funchess is the Director of Community Engagement for the Mental Health Association. She presents, trains, and consults nationally in mental health, racial healing, family engagement and community building. Known in the community as

“Mama Mel” she has been an advocate for children, youth and families for over 20 years. Ms. Funchess is a devoted wife and mother of four young adults. Her mission is to use her knowledge of systems and communities to create spaces that heal, educate,

and rebuild our village where every child is our own. She also served as a Rochester City School Board Commissioner.


Click here for tickets to the "Best Mother's Day Gift Ever." Join us tomorrow night for Listen To Your Mother, Rochester, at the Hochstein Performance Hall. Doors open at 7 p.m.

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