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September Bi-Monthly Task Force Meeting

September 7 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am

Work-Life Balance: What It Is and How to Achieve It

Join us at our Task Force meeting on Wednesday, September 7 from 9 to 11 am as we discuss and move forward with our initiatives. Our featured presentation for September will be centered on having a work-life balance.

What does it mean to have a work-life balance? It is typically defined as the amount of time you spend working versus the amount of time you spend with friends, family, and pursuing personal interests. There is no universal approach that works for everyone, but there are methods that can help us find a healthy balance. Featuring a panel of speakers, our September presentation will have open and honest conversations on what work-life balance is, why it matters, and the steps you can take to start achieving yours.


Meet our Speaker

Melannie Denise Cunningham

Melannie Denise Cunningham serves as the Director of Multicultural Outreach and Engagement in the Campus Ministry Department here at PLU. Regardless of her fun, jolly façade, she is hugely empathic and works tirelessly to advocate for diversity, inclusion, equity, and retention for the university’s most underrepresented racial and cultural populations.

Cunningham, a change-maker and palmy intrapreneur with a strategic mindset, founded awe-inspiring programs and interventions at PLU that support them in culturally authentic ways, i.e. The People’s Gathering Racial Dialogue Convening, Leadership Symposium on Saturday, Monday Word Chapel Service, Gospel Experience Concert, Lute Nation Step Team, and the PLU Food Pantry.

She works in concert with various entities, including the Office of Admissions, Diversity Center, Student Success, Academic Advising, Financial Services, Graduate Programs and Continuing Education, Degrees of Change, Foundation for Tacoma Students, and Northwest Harvest.

The community took notice of her services and their providential effects on society at large. She was awarded The Greater Tacoma Peace Prize for her steadfast work in promoting racial reconciliation. The honor earned her a trip to Oslo, Norway, to attend the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony, where she presented her documentary titled “Peace Queen.” Peace Queen later aired on public television and was recognized by the Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2021 with an Emmy Award.

“It is an honor to serve with Melannie,” says Jen Rude, University Pastor. “People like Melannie Cunningham make this world a better place. Buoyantly she keeps doing what she does and keeps making those ripples in stagnant waters.”

Cunningham received her B.A. in General Studies from Washington State University and later earned her Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Pacific Lutheran University. She also earned a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Change from Fielding Graduate University.

Currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Organizational Development, this self-proclaimed “continuous learner” says her journey underscores the importance of students thriving and finding deep campus connections. According to her, every student should know that they matter and belong at PLU.

Request an invitation


September 7
9:00 am - 11:00 am
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Chloe Wilhelm
View Organizer Website