Marilyn was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Pogue Scholar, a full merit-based scholarship awarded to young people with “extraordinary strengths in one or more areas and a commitment to diversity” and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She graduated with the highest distinction from UNC’s School of Arts and Sciences with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy with Honors and a second major in Sociology in May 2022. In her senior honors thesis, Marilyn explored racial differences in Career and Technical Education course enrollment in North Carolina public schools.
At UNC, Marilyn was the vice president of the Kappa Omicron chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., where she spearheaded the chapter’s programming efforts. She organized events centered on social action and racial equity, such as an event honoring North Carolina local legends during Black History Month in partnership with the Carolina Parents Council and University Career Services. She also conducted archival research with the University’s Commission on Race, History, and a Way Forward on the history of slavery at UNC. Marilyn was inducted into the Order of the Golden Fleece, the University’s oldest and highest honors society, for her commitment to creating programs centered on promoting racial equity on campus.
Prior to MDC, Marilyn worked at the Arthur M Blank Foundation and discovered her interest in philanthropy. She spent six months helping the Foundation develop a youth voice strategy. She also spent the summer of 2021 as the Dan Broun Intern working with the United Philanthropy Forum on equity in rural philanthropy and the Great Expectations team on birth justice. Marilyn is excited to come back to MDC as the 2022-2023 Autry Fellow to continue to learn more about MDC’s programs in equity-centered philanthropy.