Melvin Thompson is the Executive Director of the Endeleo Institute. After spending nearly two decades in the civic, private, and nonprofit world, he truly knows how to connect the dots in forging powerful relationships across multiple sectors for the betterment of Far South Side communities. The consummate relationship-builder, he spearheaded a community-driven, $10M restoration of the Carter G. Woodson Regional Library and was instrumental in recasting it as the City of Chicago’s first Dementia-friendly Library.
Melvin also has a growing body of community-academic experience, with emphasis on Community-Based Participatory Research. His community-engaged research work extends across a broad spectrum, including partnerships that highlight pharmacy desert eradication, heart disease prevention, mental health, and prostate cancer education among African-American men. In addition, he has experience as a seasoned Steering Committee member working with the Alliance for Research in Chicagoland Communities (ARCC) on research development grants. This includes collaborative work with Darby Morhardt at Northwestern’s Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center (CNADC) and the REACH to Faith 2.0 Project.
Melvin has landed coverage in print and broadcast outlets both locally and internationally, including US News and World Report, NPR (WBEZ in Chicago) WGN Television, and the Chicago Tribune. In addition to his extensive community development experience, he is an accomplished writer and sought-after speaker.
Melvin holds an MBA from Roosevelt University and a BS in journalism from Northwestern University. He is also an Ordained Deacon at Trinity United Church of Christ.