At The Melanin Collective, we’re doing DEI training right. Here’s how.

We’re multidisciplinary, multicultural and multigenerational

Representation matters. That’s why we center marginalized communities of color living at the many intersections of identity. We reflect the communities we serve, mirror the behavior we seek to achieve, and commit to staffing trainings and projects with a multicultural, gender-inclusive and intergenerational team of facilitators. We have practical experience with organizational reform and working with boards, management, employees, membership and community electoral based organizations and leadership to foster race and gender justice.


Culturally proficient and evidence-based

We incorporate proven practices and research findings from the spheres of psychology, organizational sociology, and management — as well as our own experiences — into the work we do. We can also work offer your staff, board, and stakeholders Spanish translation and interpretation services.


Strengthening our power through numbers

The Melanin Collective works in a cooperative business partnership with Working IDEAL and Redwood Enterprise LLC. Bridging together our unique strengths and expertise, we’re better positioned to offer holistic consultative services that leave no stone unturned, and result in lasting, impactful change.


Living our values unapologetically

Our work restores trust where it has been broken, applies research and experience to identify best practices, and centers and values the experiences of underrepresented communities.

Where We’ve Worked

Collectively, our team has a demonstrated record of effective reforms in large enterprises, colleges and universities, government agencies, unions, political operations and nonprofit organizations. Here is just a sampling of organizations that we have worked with.



Pamela Coukos
Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder
Working IDEAL

Pamela Coukos, JD, PhD, is a nationally recognized expert on pay equity and gender equity, and the factors that drive successful and unsuccessful responses to workplace discrimination. She has assessed data and policies at scores of companies and led the development of Department of Labor guidance on pay equity reviews. Pam is an experienced teacher and trainer, with two decades of experience in the public, private, nonprofit and academic sectors.

Working IDEAL provides trusted, effective and innovative advice on inclusive workplaces, diverse talent and fair pay to large and small companies, universities, non-profits, unions and other organizations across the nation. Working IDEAL offers a customized, evidence-based and research-informed approach applying best and promising practices to meet your goals for diversity, equity, access and inclusion.


Doris Quintanilla
Executive Director & Co-Founder
The Melanin Collective 

Doris Quintanilla is on a mission to educate, empower, mentor, and effect change in the lives of womxn and gender non-conforming people of color as the co-founder and Executive Director of The Melanin Collective. Doris has led community health education and youth education and leadership development programs in the United States and the Dominican Republic, focusing on building partnerships and recruiting student leaders. She has also managed continuing education programs for reproductive healthcare professionals and conducted healthcare-related surveys and qualitative research. Doris’ decade of professional experience in the nonprofit sector has led her to work with the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery of the United States Department of the Navy (BUMED), Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, Reproductive Health Access Project, La Clinica de la Raza, Amigos de las Americas (AMIGOS), and most recently the Humane Society.


Rene Redwood
Chief Executive Officer
Redwood Enterprise, LLC

Rene Redwood has spent over 30 years working with public and private employers and nonprofits on transformation in the workplace. She has a special focus on building and restoring trust with internal and external customers, including training, assessment and monitoring and strategic guidance on racial justice, gender equity, and unconscious bias. Rene was a member of the court-appointed Coca-Cola Task Force, Director of the Presidential Glass Ceiling Commission, and Chair Emeritus for NARAL Pro-Choice America. Currently, she serves as Chair of the Equality Task Force for a National Security Agency, on the investment committee of the Ms. Foundation for Women, and is recognized by Ford Motor Company Fund and Smithsonian Institute as a “Freedom’s Sister” for continuing the legacy of African American women.

Lydia Avila is from a working-class suburb of Los Angeles County, a first-generation Mexican-American, and an organizer first and foremost. Lydia has spent most of her career immersed in the US climate movement and most recently served as the Executive Director of the Power Shift Network- a national network of youth-led social and environmental justice organizations working together to build the youth clean energy and climate movement. Lydia attended UCLA as an undergraduate where she was involved with student-initiated, student-run social justice service organizations and was a student activist. After college, she was a community organizer for the Sierra Club in Texas where she led two major Beyond Coal campaigns. In 2015 Lydia earned a Master of Public Administration degree at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, specializing in nonprofit management. When she’s not organizing, Lydia is spending time with her nieces and nephew, binge-watching something on Netflix or catching up with her massive ‘to read’ list.