Kelly McRell of First United Methodist Church in Charlotte Named a William C. Friday Fellow

June 23, 2020


By: Hunter Corn

The William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations, the flagship program of Wildacres Leadership Initiative (WLI), has named its 2020-2022 class.  The William C. Friday Fellowship is a competitive statewide program for cross-sector leaders that seats fewer than 30 individuals across North Carolina every two-year cycle.  Nineteen North Carolina counties are represented in this 11th Class of Friday Fellows.
 
Kelly McRell of Mecklenburg County is a Practical Theologian who uses her creativity to foster spaces that include, honor, and celebrate all bodies. Kelly carries a heart full of gratitude for the various individuals who have called her into the work of love and justice, especially Nikkeia Lee of The Possibility Project-Charlotte. Kelly works as the Connect, Family, and Outreach Minister at First United Methodist Church in Charlotte. In 2017–2018, Kelly participated in the Arts and Science Council Cultural Leadership Training. Kelly was a member of Leadership Charlotte Class 37 and volunteers with the Rainbow Express Ministries. Kelly sits on the board of The Possibility Project-Charlotte.
 
James Mills of Rocky Mount, a Friday Fellow from the Class of 2008 and WLI’s current board chair, shared, “I was amazed at the quality of candidates we interviewed. It was tough deciding who to seat.”
 
Selection chair Danny Ellis who is also a Friday Fellow from the Class of 2008 expressed his feelings stating, “Wow, NC! This year-long journey across this great state has culminated with a slate of incredible souls and personalities. Their presentations and revealed purposes has me excited and thankful for the opportunity to have led this effort.”
 
William C. Friday Fellows are committed to leadership in North Carolina, model humility and continuous learning, and are courageous risk-takers seeking to create innovation through their work in the world.
 
The 2020–2022 Class of Friday Fellows will share in a two-year experience that uses stories and objects to question, examine, and transform the places we inherit and inhabit in the world. Words and things alike will become pathways for question-framing, relationship-building, and world-shifting.
 
WLI Deputy Director and Lead Faculty Meredith Doster describes the fellowship’s proposed arc and impact, “The learning technologies of the 2020-22 fellowship are deceptively simple: Tell and hear stories. Remember and share things. Journey alone and in community. To grow leadership capacities, Fellows will practice being present to one another. Together, Fellows will make and hold space for deep learning and collective transformation.”
 
As with previous classes, the Friday Fellowship will immerse these North Carolina leaders in this unique free program held in locations throughout the state for six four-day development seminars.  Before and after each seminar weekend are guided practices designed for class members to embrace new pathways to build and sustain relationships across lines of difference.
 
WLI Director Hunter Corn added, “Each of these individuals has made a choice to step into something not fully known and to be in relationship with those different than themselves. It is these choices that make communities stronger and more resilient. I am grateful for their choices.”
 
The 2020-2022 Friday Fellowship class is listed alphabetically below.  A class directory page with more information and a photo of each new class member is available at this link.
 
 
About the William C. Friday Fellowship
 
The William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations is a program of the Wildacres Leadership Initiative. The fellowship honors the legacy of longtime UNC system president Bill Friday, who charged the first class of fellows in 1995 with embracing personal growth and learning in the service of all North Carolinians. Responding to Bill Friday’s call for leadership marked by both courage and grace, the fellowship has equipped over 200 North Carolinians with opportunities for deep engagement with their own—and others’—leadership practices. With human relations at the core of the fellowship’s mission and design, fellows step into relationship with one another while evaluating their power, place, and purpose in a changing world.
 
William C. Friday Fellowship Class of 2020-2022
 
Trinette Boone-Langley (Nash County) works as Director of the Social Work Program and Assistant Professor of Social Work at Barton College where she develops future social workers who can practice ethically and effectively with integrity, cultural sensitivity, and empathy. With her students, Trinette volunteers with the Imagination Station, the Sallie B. Howard School, the Boys & Girls Club, the Salvation Army, Jackson Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, and the Hope Station. For where she is in her life, Trinette gives all the glory to God. 
 
 
 
Lisa K. Bryant (Henderson County) works as Producing Artistic Director of Flat Rock Playhouse. Through Flat Rock Playhouse, Lisa partners with community groups including the Education Foundation and the United Way. Lisa also supports International Literacy Program Letterland and is a sought-after keynote speaker on Arts, Education, and Leadership.
 
Dalton Dockery, PhD (Columbus County) is the NC Cooperative Extension Director of Columbus County and a charter member of the Whiteville Alumni Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. Dalton lives in Bladenboro with his wife, Sheila, and two children.
 
Ryan Emanuel (Wake County) is a Citizen of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and a first-generation urban Indian. Ryan is Associate Professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources and affiliated with the Center for Geospatial Analytics at NC State. Ryan lives in Raleigh and sits on the board of the Wake County Public Schools Indian Education Program.
 
Susan Fellows (Edgecombe County) is a clinical dietitian at Vidant Healthcare, specializing in diabetes education, renal disease and weight loss. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association and the North Carolina Council of Renal Nutrition. A resident of Tarboro, Susan volunteers with the National Kidney Foundation as well as with animal rights groups such as Tarboro Trap, Neuter and Return, and the ASPCA.
 
Angie Flynn-McIver (Buncombe County) is President of Ignite CSP: Coaching/Speaking/Presenting, a communication and coaching group that helps people make a fundamental shift in the way they understand their own power to communicate. Angie volunteers with the Buncombe County Remembrance Project and sits on the board of the North Carolina Stage Company.

Rebecca Greer (Ashe County) works as Director of Workforce Development & Community Education on the Ashe Campus and at the Alleghany Center of Wilkes Community College. Becky is a member of Liberty Grove Baptist Church and sits on the Board of Directors for the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce. Becky’s husband of 24 years is Eric Greer. The couple has a son, Matthew Greer, and twin daughters, Allyson and Sydney Greer.
 
Merald Holloway (Wake County) is CEO and President of NC 100, a non-profit focused on mapping and identifying opportunities for collaboration and change in Rockingham County. Born in Reidsville, Merald is a passionate and dedicated advocate for economic empowerment and social justice within several North Carolina communities and business sectors. A resident of Raleigh, Merald serves on the boards of the North Carolina Employee Ownership Center and the Greater Durham Black Chamber of Commerce.
 
Liam Hooper (Forsyth County) a trans advocate for radically revisioned intersectional justice and serves as executive director of Ministries Beyond Welcome. Liam lives with his now legally married spouse, Diana, and is author of the forthcoming book Trans-Forming Proclamation (OtherWise Engaged Publishing).
 
Tiffany N. Jacobs (Cabarrus County) works as Piedmont Triad Regional Apprenticeship Coordinator in the North Carolina Community College System. A  native of Wilmington who now resides in Kannapolis, Tiffany is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She volunteers for the Integrated Service Delivery Network Work Group for  the United Way of Greater Greensboro. Tiffany also sits on the boards of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Forge Greensboro.
 
Lara Khalil (Durham County) works as City-County Youth Initiatives Manager for the City of Durham Office on Youth. In her role, Lara works to elevate youth voices and nurtures intergenerational and cross-disciplinary connections to make Durham a better place for young people.  A Durham resident, Lara serves on the Partnership for a Healthy Durham - Racial Equity Task Force, and the Bull City Community Schools Partnership. Lara delights in growing plant things, tending to her mini worm farm, and being mother to a very kinetic four year old!
 
Andrew J. Knoblich, M.Ed., NCC (Mecklenburg County) works as Program Manager for the City of Charlotte in the Mayor's Youth Employment Program. Andrew has enjoyed supporting his community through his involvement as a board member of his neighborhood association, as an advisory board member to Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology, and a facilitator of the East Charlotte Education Coalition.  Andrew and his wife, Claire, have one daughter, Ella, who was born in December 2019.
 
Anne Lord (Mecklenburg County) is Director of Marketing with the Lord Law Firm. A resident of Charlotte, Annie is co-chair of the Shalom Park Freedom School and Critical Needs Committee Chair at Randolph Middle School. Annie is married to her husband, Harrison Lord. They have two children together, Andrew (14) and Hadley (12).
 
Kelly McRell (Mecklenburg County) is a Practical Theologian who uses her creativity to foster spaces that include, honor, and celebrate all bodies. Kelly works as the Connect, Family, and Outreach Minister at First United Methodist Church in Charlotte. Kelly was a member of Leadership Charlotte Class 37 and volunteers with the Rainbow Express Ministries.  Kelly also sits on the board of The Possibility Project-Charlotte.
 
Jonas Monast (Orange County) is an assistant professor at UNC School of Law. He directs UNC’s Center on Climate, Energy, Environment & Economics (CE3) and serves on the Orange County Climate Council Prior to joining the Carolina Law faculty, Jonas worked at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and the Center for Responsible Lending in Durham. Jonas lives with his wife and two children near Hillsborough.
 
LaTanya Patillo (Hoke County) is Teacher Advisor in the Office of the Governor of North Carolina, advisory board member of the North Carolina Public School Forum, and a former Business Education Teacher. A 2013–2014 Fellow in the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership, LaTanya is the wife of Duane and the mother of five wonderful children
 
Kevin Rumley, Vet. Purple Heart, MSW, LCAS, LCSWA (Buncombe County) is a combat wounded Marine Corps veteran serving as the Program Director for the Buncombe County Veterans Treatment Court. Kevin is a NCSAPPB Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist, Certified Clinical Supervisor Intern, Licensed Clinical Social Worker Associate, and IATP Certified Expert Trauma Professional. Kevin is also a  volunteer Guardian Ad Litem and drummer.
 
Timothy Schwantes (Chatham County) works at Healthy Places by Design, a nonprofit consulting firm that focuses on increasing access to health through the built environment. A resident of Chapel Hill, Tim volunteers at Perry Harrison Elementary in Pittsboro and is a former board member of Farmer Foodshare. Tim currently serves on the Healthy Communities committee of Creative Parks. Tim is a father, son, brother, and friend.
 
Tara Spivey (Wake County) lives in Raleigh where she works as University Program Associate for the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology & Science at NC State University. Originally from Bertie County, Tara received her bachelor’s degree in Business Management from NC A&T State University in Greensboro.
 
Timothy Tolson, MD (Pasquotank County) works as a physician in the Albemarle region. A researcher, mentor, and avid gardener, Tim volunteers with Green $aves Green, a non-partisan, non-profit, all-volunteer local environmental action group in the Albemarle Region.
 
DeSandra Washington, Ed.D (Cumberland County) is Associate Vice President for Academic Support in the Academic and Student Services Division at Fayetteville Technical Community College. A member of the Omega Kappa Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc, DeSandra volunteers with the United Way of Cumberland County, The Links, Inc. and the HBCU Initiative.
 
Willard Cline Watson III (Watauga County) works as Programs and Outreach Director at the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum. A resident of Boone, Willard volunteers at F.A.R.M. Cafe and sits on the board of the High Country Beer Fest. A musician and bass player, Willard enjoys cooking and believes that a good meal can bring people together.
 
Dr. Clinton Wilson (Guilford County) works as Supervisor of High School Counseling for Guilford County Schools. Originally from Raleigh, Clint is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and is affiliated with the American School Counselors Association and College Board Forum. Clint and his brother were raised by a strong single mother who is his most influential person.

Mary Wilson, PhD, RN (Pitt County) earned her PhD in nursing from East Carolina University and worked as a nurse in both clinical and academic settings for over 30 years. Now retired, Mary volunteers as a Lay Minister for St. Peter Catholic Church in Greenville and with the Greenville Chapter of Catholic Social Ministries.
 
 
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Head shots and more detailed information on each of these 24 new Friday Fellows is available at: https://www.fridayfellowship.org/page/Classof2020Directory
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Hunter Corn, Director at 919-987-1841 or email at hunter@fridayfellowship.org.
 


Kelly McRell of Charlotte

Kelly McRell of Charlotte has been named to the 2020-2022 class of the William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations
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