Powerful Communications


Powerful Communications

Do you want to clear pathways and build understanding around the importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion?

Or are you looking to define and strengthen “Executive Presence”?

At Powerful Communications, we use the power of story as a conduit to spark innovation, build community, and foster personal growth. 

We delve thoughtfully into the stories we tell to ourselves, about ourselves, and those we believe about others. We question how those stories affect our ability to communicate effectively and with authenticity in order to produce our desired outcomes.

Our mission, in all facets of communication, is to guide you to speak with intention, to act toward inclusion, and to live your best story. Through our services you will learn how to listen with empathy, discovering new points of view and recognizing the best actions you can take to help create spaces people from all communities feel safe to work in.

Language about equitable spaces is important, and we need to work to create equity for everyone. 

About Melle Powers

“Melle is such an intuitive and sensitive listener who really understands the art of storytelling”

— Emlyn Lee, Founder of BRAVE Communities

As the founder of Powerful Communications, Melle delivers and designs programs in Diversity and Inclusion as well as Interpersonal Communication for audiences within a wide variety of fields and with a wide variety of goals.

Melle has led training sessions at Croton-Harmon, NY School District (BOE, faculty, staff, leadership teams), Readington, NJ School District, Woodcliff Lake, NJ School District, Cisco, Estee Lauder, Johnson & Johnson, Abercrombie & Fitch, British Petroleum, Sodexo, Novartis, DLA Piper, Skadden Arps, SECO (SouthEastern Conference of Optometry) and more. She also has extensive experience working with educators to facilitate programs on race and culture for the ADL and the New Jersey State Bar Foundation (among others).


Melle is a Certified Diversity Professional who holds an MFA from NYU. She began her career in Human Capital Development as the Assistant to the Director of Human Resources at American Express, Tax and Business Services. She also co-founded and served as Managing Producer for five years of The Mud/Bone Collective, a theater company formed for and by artists of color whose original mission was to perform classical works by a cultural diaspora of actors.


Melle is passionate about story and she incorporates techniques from theater and storytelling to create impactful experiences to help communities create equitable spaces so everyone can feel safe to come to work. She brings the full wealth of her experiences to bear in all of her work.



  • Expert DEI Facilitator who has helped Fortune 500 companies, small teams, and individuals improve their DEI and/or leadership development programs
  • Featured on the Family Ghosts podcast with her journey to Louisiana’s Whitney Plantation
  • Storyteller and Facilitator for The Moth storytelling organization
  • Adjunct Instructor – “Resilience,” NYU, Tisch School of the Arts
  • Adjunct Instructor – Voice and Speech,  NYU, Tisch School of the Arts
  • Member of both The Diversity Society of America and The Inclusion Allies Coalition

Facilitators We Have Worked With

Alejandro Rodriguez

Alejandro Rodriguez is a leadership coach and communications expert who specializes in inclusive communication across diverse populations. Alejandro has led trainings on five continents, across a broad range of industries including Media, Finance, Legal, Real Estate, Technology, Health Care and Academia. The son of two Cuban immigrants, Alejandro earned his degree from The Juilliard School where he received the Michel St. Denis Prize for Outstanding Achievement. 

Joann Joseph

Joann Joseph has been working with PreK-12 educators for over eight years to facilitate changes that impact student outcomes. Joann’s work focuses on creating and delivering training and coaching solutions designed to support educators in building emotionally, psychologically, and physically safe learning spaces where all students get what they need to thrive. Joann has a BA and MS in Communication. Her facilitation style includes providing an engaging, interactive, and supportive learning experience with a thoughtful blend of real-world examples, humor, reflection on and application of the information, and a plan for action. 

Melissa Shaw 

Melissa Shaw is a facilitator and educator who offers a unique consultancy based in the arts, social justice, diversity and inclusion, and social emotional learning.  She has led workshops for tech professionals, B’nai Mitzvah students, high school students, security guards, chaplains, non-profit managers, video game designers, Buddhist monks, school principals, older adults, NGO leaders, and the NYPD. She is a teaching artist and creative coach for various community-based organizations, including Community Word Project, Energize Your Voice, and the Lulu and Leo Fund. Melissa also facilitates a variety of anti-bias, anti-oppression, and anti-racist programs for the Anti-Defamation League and the New Jersey State Bar Foundation. Powerful Communications, and Fearless Futures. Melissa holds an M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence College.

How We Work