Reverend Bianca R. Davis-Lovelace is an ordained United Church of Christ Pastor and Co-Founder of Progressive Millennials for Action. Also, she is the Co-host of Progressive Millennials podcast. During her time in ministry and activism, she has been a champion for women's empowerment, social justice, spiritual formation, interfaith engagement, and hip hop social consciousness. Bianca makes it abundantly clear how important it is for young people to know who they are, whose they are, and to commit themselves to something beyond themselves. Her favorite quote is, "It's not how you start but how you finish!" She represents the 3rd generation to serve as clergy in her family.
Bianca earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech from Jackson State University and a Master of Arts Management degree with a focus in Nonprofit Management from Columbia College Chicago. Later, at the age of 28, Bianca answered the call to ministry and matriculated to Chicago Theological Seminary where she earned a Master of Divinity degree in 2013.
In addition to her pastoral ministry, Bianca was formerly employed with Chicago's Cook County Health & Hospital Systems as an Early Intervention Services Specialist and Health Educator for clients diagnosed with HIV and at-risk communities. She is skilled at community organizing, designing strategic programs, preparing thought-provoking workshops and seminars, facilitating community- based campaigns, and improving overall organizational productivity. In 2015, she was chosen as Princeton Theological Seminary's Black Theology and Leadership Fellow and one of Union Theological Seminary's top 50 Millennial Leaders for the Millennial Leaders Project. In November of 2015, she was honored for her leadership in activism and ministry through Chicago's 40 Under 40 Young Women Professionals League. Recently in 2017, she became a Community Engagement Fellow for President Barack Obama's Organizing for Action organization. She is a proud wife and mother.
Melvin Lovelace is the Co-Founder of Progressive Millennials for Action. He credits his mother for teaching him the golden which is to, "treat others the way you want to be treated" and that is what Melvin's activism is based upon. He grew up in Gurnee, IL (Northern Chicagoland Suburb) in a two parent household. Melvin's parents instilled in him the need to fight for justice and to stand up for what is right. His mother endured the Jim Crow era while living in Macomb, Mississippi and his dad was a U.S Marine who served in the Korean War. His dad was one of the first African Americans in a desegregated unit, after President Eisenhower issued an executive order to desegregate the U.S. Military. Following in his father's footsteps, at the age of 18, Melvin enlisted into the United States Marine Corps in 2004 during Operation Iraqi Freedom/Enduring Freedom. He is the 3rd generation on his father side to fight for America during time of war. He worked with telecommunication equipment during his time in the US Military. Melvin did two tours to Iraq which fundamentally changed him in ways he could not understand at the time.
During his time as a Marine, Melvin ended up going to 15 different countries and meeting people from all over the world. This taught him that regardless of where you are from, what religion you practice, or culture, we are all still humans with the same basic needs at the end of the day. This taught him that even though we have our differences most people have more in common with each other than the differences they hold.
In 2008, Melvin decided to make a difference in a new way and enrolled in college. In 2011 Melvin was accepted to DePaul University, a school known for its commitment to community service and social justice, where he majored in Political Science. DePaul University is where he developed his love for activism and advocacy. During Melvin's time at DePaul, he was asked to create a community service organization centered around helping disabled veterans in Chicago. He accepted this challenge and created an organization called The Serenity Warrior program. From March 2012 until around the time he graduated the Serenity Warrior program went to the V.A. hospital in Chicago 3-4 times a month to visit veterans that had health challenges. They read, played games, and just talked to the vets to help them keep their spirits up while they were in the hospital. It was important to Melvin that the veterans had an opportunity to tell their stories. After Melvin ended his one year tenure with Serenity warrior program, he graduated DePaul University with a Bachelors of Liberal Arts in Political Science. In addition to activism, Melvin works as a Senior Recruiter for a local company in the Seattle, WA area.