‘Positively Melanin,’ Born From An Obama Foundation Project, Helps Young Black Professionals Find Mentors

COMMUNITY AREA #41: Hyde Park—Positively Melanin

Through Positively Melanin young professionals of color will have access to an online community of mentors.

HYDE PARK — Chanelle Bell searched for years for a good way to find solid mentors, other black professionals who could help her grow.

That’s when she realized a need — an organization that not only highlights success stories of people of color, but also promotes mentors looking to help the next generation succeed.

So, the 26-year-old Hyde Park resident started a group called “Positively Melanin,” an initiative that uses online videos, Instagram, Facebook, community speaking events and more to link young people with professionals and to spread the message: Mentors are all around you…

This story was written by Lee Edwards and originally published on Block Club Chicago in partnership with Chicago Ideas and The 77 Project. Continue reading here.


The 77 Project is a storytelling and media project presented in partnership with Xfinity with additional support from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to help redefine the narrative of our neighborhoods from the inside out. We’ll spend the remainder of 2018 shining a light on organizations and individuals in each of the 77 community areas of Chicago who are making a positive impact. Know someone we should speak with? Recommend them here.

Vanessa M. Buenger is the director of marketing & content at Chicago Ideas. She is passionate about storytelling and the power it has to change the world.

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