Meghanne Bearden's work and life are dedicated to passionate community stewardship. Raised by a single mother who instilled in her the value of community inclusiveness, Meghanne has devoted much of her education, extra-curricular activities, and budding career to building teams, communicating with impact, and problem=solving with cultural sensitivity and adaptability.

Prior to her selection as a National Urban Fellow, Meghanne served as Program Associate for Communications and Events at St. Luke's Health Initiatives (SLHI), a leading Arizona healthcare foundation. There, she found broad appreciation for her ability to connect and develop grassroots communities based on their strengths and assets. Meghanne also cultivated SLHI's website and social media platforms while moderating 90+ online communities of practice with nearly 2,000 members engaged in improving community health and health policy.

Meghanne's accomplishments at SLHI were informed by her prior work as a social media strategist for the Phoenix Community Alliance, her service as the Executive Campaign Assistant to Jason Williams, a candidate for Arizona State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and an intensive, 10-month dual-apprenticeship with the AmeriCorps Public Allies program and Anytown Arizona, an organization dedicated to eliminating racism by promoting perspective and inclusion.  Upon the completion of her apprenticeship she received the Diversity and Inclusion Peer Recognition Award from Public Allies Arizona.

Meghanne earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology from the University of Arizona in 2008 and later received a post-graduate certificate in leadership from the University of Notre Dame.

As a National Urban Fellow, Meghanne is thrilled be engaging in the treasure trove of resources, gifts, talents and personalities that comprise the program and its supporters. To her, tapping into and nurturing the power of communities isn't optional =- it's imperative.