Speaker/Workshop Leader

I’m available to speak or teach workshops for faith communities, book groups, retirement communities, peace and justice organizations, civic groups, colleges and universities, and others on topics including:
• restorative justice
• mediation
• conflict resolution
• current issues in our criminal justice system (death penalty, juvenile justice, prisoner re-entry, and other topics)

Speaker Fees: Please contact me directly to discuss fees for workshops and speaking engagements.

To schedule speaking engagements, author talks, book signings, or workshops, contact me at:


During the first half of 2010, I had an amazing opportunity to do a national speaking tour for Grace Goes to Prison. For 74 days, I traveled across the United States, and had 40 speaking engagements in 30 cities in 16 states.

My speaking engagements have included the national Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren, the national Progressive Brethren Gathering, the National Older Adult Conference, Campbell University Law School, Guilford College, Elizabethtown College, Mary Baldwin College, Manchester College, Quaker Friends Meetings, UCC, Lutheran, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Unitarian Universalist, Church of the Brethren and United Methodist congregations, public libraries, retirement communities, Rotary and Kiwanis clubs.

I have been an adjunct faculty member for Elizabethtown College and Penn State University.

What others are saying:

“Melanie Snyder is an inspiring speaker. Her research into America’s troubled and troubling criminal justice system left her with a determination to educate the rest of us. She shines a bright light on some very hard truths about the misuse of incarceration and the tremendous waste of human and financial resources. More importantly, she tells stories of people who have found a better way. If our ultimate goal in criminal justice is to make things better, and not worse, we all need to hear these stories. Melanie’s exceptional presentation is perfect for any community that values peace and justice.”
~ Jane Wiggins, Ph.D., Director, The Campus Suicide Prevention Center of Virginia, James Madison University

“Melanie Snyder can be a catalyst for wide-ranging discussion at a deep level. She is honest. She isn’t selling a simple message without thought about the repercussions. She’s real. I can highly recommend her as a speaker and as a fellow human being who is trying to live a life with compassion and dignity and does not think she has all the answers.”
~ Pat Hunt, College Chaplain, retired

“Melanie Snyder brings to life how valuable restorative justice can be to our society. The dedication and commitment Marie Hamilton exhibited through her work is inspiring. We need to follow her model and change the way we manage our justice system. Melanie is helping to make this a reality.”
~ Marty Thomas-Brummé, Founder of The Rose Mediation Center, Scranton, PA

“Melanie Snyder brings her passion, compassion and a true depth of knowledge to the topic of our prison system and the issues associated with incarceration. She spoke with a clarity that obviously touched the entire audience, which by the way, contained both liberal Democrats and tough-on-crime Republicans. Her message is a pragmatic one: we have to do something differently; what we’re doing is not only not working, it is making things worse. She was inspiring and I hope she continues to write, speak and be an advocate for the change that is so clearly needed.”
~ Wendy Roberman, Albemarle County Government Office, Charlottesville, VA

“If you want to challenge and engage your students, your book club, or your civic or church group, call Melanie! Though she can speak with large groups or small, she creates an intimacy with stories of those she’s interviewed. Melanie does not lecture, rather, she tells stories and pulls you in. Once riveting her audience, she wraps up by stating facts from the Pew Center’s research to put the stories in context. Writing the book and touring the country to speak about it is a gift of love. She’ll never financially be adequately compensated for her work and travel. It’s all about her passion for creating awareness and dialogue about the state of our national criminal justice system. She has spoken for several colleagues’ classes at Mary Baldwin College. She is able and willing to weave in any approach most helpful for a course. She spares nothing in terms of preparation and communication and makes it easy to get her into a classroom or lecture hall.”
~ Marion Anne Ward, Director of the Adult Degree Program, Mary Baldwin College, Staunton VA


Making Peace: Conflict Resolution Workshops:

Conflict is part of the fabric of our existence as fellow humans. The solution isn’t to avoid or eliminate it, but to learn to resolve conflicts peacefully, graciously. I’ve taught conflict resolution skills to corporate executives, school groups, youth who have been in trouble with the law, church groups, parents and others. I’ve been involved in conflict resolution, mediation and victim-offender reconciliation work since 2000. Teaching is one of my great joys and peace is one of my passions. I’d be honored to work with your organization to share skills for living more peacefully together, in your neighborhood, workplace, non-profit organization, church group or other places where such skills would enhance your ability to achieve your goals. Contact me so we can have a dialogue about your group’s needs and interests, and I’ll partner with you to create a program that’s right for you.

Comments from workshop participants