Melanie Funchess, Commissioner

Melanie Funchess, Commissioner

Melanie Funchess, Commissioner
Email:melanie.funchess@rcsdk12.org
Board Liaison to: Schools 5, 34, 39, 44, Joseph C. Wilson Foundation Academy, Northeast College High and Northwest Junior High at the Douglass Campus, and LyncX Academy
Term Expires: December 2018

 

Ms. Melanie Funchess is currently employed by the Mental Health Association where she serves as the Director of Community Engagement. For six years in this position she also served as the Key Family Contact/ Community Director for Monroe County’s Systems of Care initiative (A federal initiative through the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)). In this position she had responsibility for integrating family/ community voice into the systems transformation work at the practice, program and policy levels. She was also an integral part of the cultural competence/ disparity reduction work of the System of Care. Ms. Funchess has served as an advocate for families and youth for many years and has worked extensively in the areas of family engagement and empowerment as well as community building. She presents, trains, and consults locally and nationally in the areas of mental health in communities of color, cultural competence/culturally responsive practice, family engagement, implicit bias, cultural brokering, community engagement and partnership building, racial trauma and healing. Her two plus decades of work experience also includes the areas of Education, Developmental Disabilities, and Community Health. 

 

Ms. Funchess is involved in several national and community based coalitions and organizations such as SAMHSA’s Child Adolescent, and Family Branch Council, The National Network to Eliminate Disparities in behavioral healthcare (NNED), the African American Leadership Development Program, African American Health Coalition, Black Women’s Leadership Forum, Greater Rochester Parent Leadership Training Institute, the Mental Health Promotion Task Force, and The Black Agenda Group of Greater Rochester. She is also the project director for the Rochester Prime Time Sister Circles. She is a founding member of the Coalition for the Beloved Community. The Coalition’s mission is to serve as a “countywide movement to build a culture of peace; grounded in dignity and fed by hope”.

She is a devoted wife and mother of four children (two boys and two girls). Her mission is to use her knowledge of systems and communities to help her people to remember, reflect and return to the ways of the village and to become the owners of the tools of our own healing.