Melody Stanford Martin is a social ethicist and communications expert focusing on rhetorical innovation, courageous community engagement, and out-of-the-box thinking to solve social problems. She is the author of Brave Talk: Building Resilient Relationships in the Face of Conflict and a co-host of Brave Space Live, a podcast about anti-oppression and communal healing. Melody is also a TEDx speaker, executive coach, and mediator. Her current research centers on cognitive dissonance and the art of practicing courage and compassion amidst shifting beliefs and values.
In her work, Melody draws from both academic training as well as personal experience with conflict. Working on a strong belief that everyone deserves to be well-trained in the skills of conflict transformation, Melody holds a high commitment to “real talk,” making her work accessible to all ages and all levels of education.
Drawing from leading sources in restorative justice, communication, psychology, and ethics, Melody’s passion is creating spaces where people can practice courageous dialogue, grow together in resilience, and build relationships that can handle the weight of conflict. She uses an intersectional lens that is approachable to people across the political and religious spectrum.
Melody’s conflict transformation approach is especially pertinent in situations of impasse where resolution or agreement is unlikely. Her framework is based on resisting “cheap peace”, animosity, and othering. Instead, she teaches audiences to internalize core values that are summarized by the idea of “engaging impasse”. Through embracing the paradox of non-resolution, and by learning to appreciate our fundamental need for healthy disagreement, we unlock important opportunities.
“Something powerful happens when we treat every disagreement and every conflict as if it is an impasse — when our approach is to deeply understand, to deeply relate, instead of trying to change someone’s mind. When we take the time first, before anything else, to truly see others, we will learn some vitally important things about their world. Even if we can’t find resolution, we will gain chances to truly connect and dispel myths and fear. We will build trust, empathy, and collaboration.”
— Brave Talk by Melody Stanford Martin | Broadleaf Books, 2020
Melody Stanford Martin is an author, speaker, coach, activist,
and conflict transformation specialist.
AUTHOR Melody’s book Brave Talk: Building Resilient Relationships in the Face of Conflict will be released in 2020 by Broadleaf Books. She is the creator of Brave Talk Project and Brave Talk Base Camp, a skill-building conversation exercise that helps people practice difficult conversations.
CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION SPECIALIST Melody holds a Masters of Divinity with a concentration in social ethics from Boston University School of Theology (BUSTH). She is a graduate of the Religion and Conflict Transformation Program at BUSTH.
COMMUNICATIONS EXPERT Melody is the Founder & CEO of Cambridge Creative Group, a design and marketing strategy agency where she has spent over ten years helping humanitarian organizations tell their stories.
COACH & MEDIATOR For groups who are both experiencing interpersonal strain and groups who want to build skills before conflict becomes an issue, Melody works as a consultant, coach, and conflict mediator.
PODCAST HOST Melody is the co-host of Brave Space Live, a podcast about anti-oppression and communal healing.
Melody lives in Maine with her husband Corey and their dogs Baxter and Benedict Cumberbatch. When she is not working, she is gardening and playing rock and jazz.
Contact & Booking
955 Massachusetts Ave. #416
Cambridge, MA 02139