Dr. Canty Merrill has been inspiring, encouraging, and educating me for several years now. I’m honored to have worked with her and have learned from her candid, authentic, and boundary-pushing ideas and strategies.

Kendra Penland – Founder, Raconteuse Consulting

Dr. Merrill’s grief education and healing has helped me so much! I had never fully worked through the grief of losing my husband years ago and only realized how much it affected me after Dr. Mary began teaching about recovery from grief. I can’t recommend her highly enough, the transformation she helped me through was much needed. Dr. Mary is a truly gifted educator!

Cindy Naas Nathan – Activist

I have learned more from Mary about race relations and racialized/generational trauma than any other person or book. I have watched her suffer great loss yet start the day with a smile and a word of help. She will kick you in the butt lovingly when you are wrong and point you in the right direction. Watching her helped me go through my own trauma last year. I recommend her highly.

Susan C. Foster Owner – Susan Foster Coaching

It was an extraordinary privilege to participate in a webinar facilitated by the brilliant Dr. Merrill. Dr. Merrill has been unfailingly professional and tremendously patient in that instance and in every interaction I have ever had with her. I will carry her wisdom with me for the rest of my life. It has been a great honor to work with her, and I am more grateful than I can possibly express to have had access to her brilliance. Thank you, Dr. Merrill, most sincerely.

Dayna Mondelli Professional – Copyeditor and Proofreader

I have found Dr Merrill to be a constant source of appropriate advice and motivation during some very trying times. Her honesty and force of nature has been invaluable in my work. 

Rose Taylor Probation Officer – Department of Corrections New Zealand

I have known Mary Canty Merrill for four years, bearing witness to her viewpoints, understandings, and communication style. Dr. Merrill’s intelligence is rare, expressing itself not only as a brilliant mind, but also as a social and spiritual clarity. Further, Dr. Merrill has the remarkable capacity to reveal the most tender of hearts, free to hold dear, grieve, and lift others in public. Bringing such a heart and mind, both fierce and diverse in their capacities and expression, is a mark of the kind leadership we most need.

David Bedrick, J.D. Attorney; Teacher of Process-oriented Psychology

You my dear friend have enlightened me with social injustices- your path thru grief has helped me in my own path. You are an absolute joy to know as you are a positive influence in this world of ugly. You continue to evolve thru many obstacles which helps me as well as countless others! I love you dearly.

Lisa Davis Co-Owner, Select Auto/ Thoroughbred Properties

The brilliant work of Dr. Mary Canty Merrill has impacted and changed my life, my work, and my world outlook on a cellular level. Throughout my career, I have been a pastor, a hospice chaplain, a grief counselor, and a writer. But one of the most important things I have done as a human being is to have been a student of Dr. Merrill’s. While I have never sat in her class, I have had the privilege of learning from her via her online presence and the community she created. Dr. Merrill’s is a voice of truth, of personal and intellectual excellence, and of scholarly integrity. She holds a mirror to those willing to look at themselves and at the institutions from which they benefit– the same institutions that have been designed and maintained to further racial injustice. While I have long considered myself to be on the side of justice, I now recognize that my world view has always been from the perspective of privilege — my white privilege. Thus, I still had (and have) a tremendous amount of learning and consciousness-shifting and behavior-changing to do in order to be the person and pastor and counselor I aspire to be. Dr. Merrill’s work is not for those who are unwilling to be challenged or to take an honest look at themselves. For those who are, however, the experience is life-changing and liberating. The awareness of my own inherent racism and privilege does not make me more of a racist, but rather fuels my commitment to be a more effective and informed agent for justice, and a more genuine pastoral presence in the world. Finally, as a grief counselor, I have been in awe of the way Dr. Merrill has shared her journey of grief after the death of her distinguished and beloved husband. She has illuminated an otherwise dark and lonely path for the bereft in a way that is personal, wise, and grounded in her work as a mental health professional. I highly recommend Dr. Merrill and iLevelUp Consulting to anyone who is working through grief, hoping to transform a work environment, hoping to transform oneself, or studying the impact of personal and institutionalize racism. Dr. Merrill’s work has left an indelible mark on who I am as a human being and as a professional, and I am enormously grateful.

Andrea Raynor Adjunct Clergy

Since I have been acquainted with Dr. Merrill, her advice, insight, and support has brought me through many trying moments in my private and professional life. Anyone would benefit from Dr. Merrill’s skill and expertise regarding race relations, trauma, and healing.

Denise Thomas Chef/Owner, Simply Delicious Hospitality Services

If you want to work with and learn from a human being who has found her purpose and is sitting deeply in her power, you owe it to yourself or your organization to get to know Dr. Merrill. The depth of her knowledge is matched only by her quick-witted sense of humor. Grounded in her understanding of generational trauma and race relations, she’s able to identify both the subtle nuances in interpersonal and organizational dynamics and systems, and to hold you deeply in compassion and understanding. She’s deeply sensitive and empathetic, but she didn’t come to play. If you’re serious about growing and challenging the status quo, Dr. Merrill is the one you’ve been looking for.

Carolyn Fine Guide, The Irridescent Mind

I first met Mary at a political function. She takes community involvement seriously. In addition, I recommended her for a position, she was hired and did a fantastic job. I have been a part of her social media group since inception. She informs, educates and is a natural leader in the community and her social media group. She has delivered training, consulting and inspirational speaking engagements internationally and nationally. She’s recognized as an expert on race relations, racism, cultural experiences, leadership and many other issues. Her interactive and integrative work she does with loss and grieving has helped me cope with my loss of a husband, family members and friends. Mary is a woman of many skills; she’s effective and people benefit from their involvement with her.

Glenda Wells-Evans Senior Organizational Consultant, GTK & Associates

Dr. Merrill is forthright, immediate and unwavering in her confrontation of any degree or instance of racism. Should someone’s racism be unconscious they may get some verbal cold water splashed in their face, a valuable opportunity to take a hard look within themselves. She offers a presence in which honest people can check themselves and triflers cannot gain traction.

Jennifer Merrill Williams

I have found Dr. Merrill to not only be extremely capable and competent, but also engaging and powerful to work with. I have gained and grown in many different ways and areas based on her unending commitment toward the fight for humanity.

Peter Brown CEO, The Ledge Group, LLC

Dr. Mary Canty Merrill is an absolute touchstone in my life. Her work is ripe with truth telling, encouragement and support. She is the real deal. Working with her and following her guidance can push you to peel away what may be keeping you stuck, while at the same time planting seeds of compassion and curiosity. I am truly grateful for her words and wisdom.

Tracy Ann Brooks Writer, Soul Beckons

Dr. Merrill is a shot of espresso in a world of watery, tepid coffee. Sometimes she’s an icy-cold blast when you open the front door in summer. She’ll challenge you, provoke you, make you just the right level of uncomfortable. Any decision to work with Dr. Merrill should not be undertaken without serious forethought and self-interrogation, for she neither coddles your fragility nor co-signs your bullshit. Through following Dr. Merrill on Facebook, I’ve learned to de-center myself as a white woman when I read her posts. I’ve learned being called out on a problematic comment is no longer to be feared, but rather embraced, because it means someone is investing their time and energy to give me free real-life performance reviews. That means they must think I can do better. And that’s actually an honor. Dr. Merrill’s transparency about her own grief process following the sudden deaths of her nephew, father, and husband in short succession. She shared intimately about her experience, the beautiful memories, the really bad days and the backslides, and that was all so profound. What an honor to be allowed to bear witness. Dr. Merrill both models and encourages healthy grieving, living life with purpose and on purpose, social justice advocacy, and continuous personal and community growth and evolution. I’m so delighted a friend introduced us about four years ago. My life is better for it.

Beth Ellison Volunteer

In these times, with the upheaval of the political, social and economical of society overall, there has been this shift of Elders and Leaders who use their platform and their prestige to address racism, oppression and marginalization of people, especially those of Color/Natives/Indigenous in various aspects in society. Dr. Merrill’s social media presence as I have encountered, is one that I look towards for her knowledge and wisdom each day. She refuses to back down or to quiet her very being for anyone’s comfort. She is a role model for many women of African descent, including myself.

Kwame Pitts Pastor/Faith/Clergy/Caucus Leader, Crossroads Lutheran Church/VOICE Buffalo

Dr. Merrill is one of the most authentic, brilliant educators on the topics of social justice and race relations in America. She respects the truth, and as such will never sugarcoats it. She is a straight-shooter and it has been my honor to grow and be educated by her vast knowledge and empathy. I would recommend this phenomenal woman without hesitation for any endeavor she sets her mind to. She is a force of change and good.

Dimitra Stathopoulos Attorney

Dr. Mary could be called Dr. Truth. She is one of the most honest, vulnerable and respectful humans I have ever encountered in my many decades of life. I was fortunate to discover her while searching social media for people who had the courage, the dignity and grace to hold up a mirror, not to spoon feed me, but rather to have me dig deeply into myself, uncover the history and profound flaws of my privileged life. Dr. Mary’s presence, intelligence, unwavering integrity cracked open my heart, my mind, my psyche to much larger race relation issues, the depths of generational trauma and sustained grief, whether personal or collective. Through Dr. Mary’s vulnerable sharing, I learned that we do not have grief – rather, that grief has us, rising up to greet us in countless ways. As we acknowledge its existence, however it shows up, we are more free to move through that grief. Dr. Mary’s life and work is a beacon on that journey.

Elizabeth Crouch Owner, Synergems, LLC

Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to work with many intentionally committed people. But every now and then I’ve been honored to meet and work with true leaders. Leadership is an art. It is also a calling. Those who are true to that calling are unabashedly honest, forthright, and unapologetic about what is necessary to create change. Mary Canty Merrill is that kind of leader. Mary Canty Merrill wears many hats – and she wears them all well. Just one of many reasons why she is so formidable in every area of her work. I’ve been very fortunate to work with Mary in many areas of social justice, including civil rights, racism, sexism, and poverty. Mary is a leader who demands action. A true leader does not have time for passive handwringing and pearl clutching. You either want to change the status quo or you don’t. It’s really that simple. Mary is an empathetic, no-nonsense, let’s-get-to-work leader. These are just some of many reasons why I admire her. I have watched her help and inspire so many people. Mary is never afraid to speak the truth. Ever. She is a touchstone for the many people she touches every single day. Despite personal hardships in years past, Mary has endured and continued to lead through darkness. During times of grief, some people still find the amazing ability to shine and lead. This is Mary Canty Merrill. In this new world of technology, Mary has perfectly harnessed the power of virtual leadership. There are thousands of people who each day reach out to read Mary’s Facebook page for inspiration and a check-in on life. That is just another of Mary’s special qualities. Reach is everything. Mary Canty Merrill has proven her ability to really reach people on many diverse platforms, including the classroom. It takes great strength and courage to put oneself out there for human consumption. But that, THAT is Mary Canty Merrill. Love you, Mary… Please feel free to edit any and all of my comments for whatever helps you best. Also, I am available for any needed follow up. Please feel free to adjust your name/title in any of my wording. It was very challenging to write this. I hold you in the highest regard. I pride myself on being the best leader I can be – in my work and in my life. I can honestly say, before you, I ‘d never really met anyone who understood what I mean. But YOU do. Thank you for all that you do and for all that you share. Because of YOU, I am a better person. Know that. I love you. And I think of you every single day. I really do. #KeepShining

Teresa Chase Activist/Social Worker, This Woman’s Work

As a “wordsmith,” I believe I understand better than most the power of language in our lives. On levels both subtle and explicit, it can inform, heal, and inspire; it can also suppress. Dr. Mary Canty Merrill pushes me to re-examine my own use of language, and by extension that used by my clients. She had me consider, for example, the subtle and yet powerful difference between the terms “slave” and “enslaved people”: while the former implies an identity that has, perhaps, always existed, the latter speaks to conditions imposed upon individuals by outside forces. Only by focusing on those outside forces can they be identified and remediated. As a person who puts words out into the world (and in the process uses references and standards generated by elite individuals), Dr. Mary Canty Merrill has ultimately led me to evaluate power dynamics and how I can make a difference. Can my words make a difference? I would like to think so; all our words count. While my work in this area is ongoing, her guidance has been instrumental in imbuing my own words with more care, awareness, and compassion.

Lesa Guy Owner, Lesa Guy Writing, Editing & Proofreading

My experiences with Mary—on a volunteer committee organized to develop a social justice conference, in writing an essay included in her published anthology on racism and written from a variety of racial and social perspectives, and by being an avid reader of her blog posts on social media—have all been exceptional. Her capacity to inspire, tell the unvarnished and highly informed truth, organize, motivate and hold everyone to their highest level of expression is impressive. Her skills and passion should not be squandered on “soft” topics, half-hearted commitments, or fragile egos or psyches. She is uniquely crafted for the most harmful, longstanding issues plaguing our culture and its mirrored organizations today. Do not waste this woman’s talent and devotion. Embrace it with commitment to do right by it.

Aine Dee Founder & CEO, Wealth Reimagined

Dr. Mary Canty Merrill is an extraordinary brilliant facilitator and moderator of programs to enhance organizational excellence. Her straightforward demeanor and straight talk encourage effective group dynamics and participants to dig deeper for understanding and trust building. She expects much and gives more.

Gail Rasmussen Retired Educator

Dr. Merrill provides open, honest, direct and eye-opening feedback to her clients and social justice followers on race, white supremacy, privilege and Black excellence. She stands in her truth and shakes our country, infrastructure, systems and processes to do better and to look at the role each of us plays in enabling the unjust world that exists for our Black and Brown sisters and brothers. We white people in positions of privilege should heed her message and absorb the radical truths she shares. If you don’t want to hear the truth, don’t call on Dr. Merrill…but…you absolutely should.

Diana Heme Retired KPMG Partner Life Coach & Business Consultant

Dr. Merrill’s brutal honesty compels me to confront the realities around racism, white supremacy, and my own personal complicity in that. She inspires me to grow through knowledge and discomfort.

Cindy James

I have benefited immensely from the services provided by Dr. Mary Canty Merrill and her firm (iLevelUp Consulting, LLC). Her analyses and explanations of human behavior is unequal. She goes into grave details as it relates to solving problems of human interaction (the who, what, why and how), easily affording those charged with the task of finding solutions to critical mental health issues and critical human behavioral issues, especially involving the highly-charged issues of racism and race-related matters.

Glen Neil Carey Owner/Founder/President, G.Carey.9Enterprise

I know Mary through her work as a social justice activist via social media. She is a passionate warrior in the battle for racial justice, generous with her teaching, and a formidable intellectual force. She holds the bar very high for others, but especially for herself. I considered myself a socially aware person, but through connecting with Mary, I gained new levels of understanding around how deeply embedded racism is in the fabric of our society, and a greater awareness of my own complicity. I consider it a privilege to know her.

Dr. Cathy Yonek Advertising Specialty Institute

I have been an admirer of Mary’s for a couple of years and I have to say she has transformed my thinking. Her powerful words cut to the truth in a way that makes you re-evaluate who you are from the inside out. She is very passionate about dismantling racism. Those who have the privilege of hearing her speak are forever impacted by her words. I am thankful for the work she does for the community!

Tabitha Richardson Broker/Owner, NextHome Leaders

Dr. Merrill has had quite an impact in my life. My own big wake-up call to realizing the need to fight for racial justice began when unarmed black men were being gunned down and murdered by our own police. Black Lives Matters had started their movement. I began going to rallies to stand up for those who were/are being targeted, not realizing that my own journey to ending racism had just begun. I joined Social Media groups that were for people like me, white people wanting to fight racism, however, we needed to be guided through our own racist ideologies. This is where Dr. Merrill came into my life. I waited with anticipation for her book, Why Black Lives Matter, Too. And when I finally got a copy, it was so inspiring. As for following Dr. Merrill on Social Media, she’s always keeping me on my toes about being aware of things I never even thought about as being racist. Many times, I hear “If you think I am harsh, racism is harsher”. I have learned it’s now time for white people to listen, just seriously shut up and listen. Then begin the steps to take what we have learned and speak to other white people about their racist ideologies. For me, it has been with my own family, others who are on social media who need to know they are being racist. Most importantly, to guide my own sons on the right path in life to seeing that people are not all treated equally. That we need to fight for those who do not have the same privileges as we do. Dr. Merrill has also taken us all on her own journey of dealing with racism, her own personal path through grief. When she is open about her own struggles, I see how it helps others deal with their struggles. Don’t expect Dr. Merrill to handle you with kid gloves. There is no time for that!! If something she said hurts your feelings, that’s because you needed to wake up and realize it’s not just about white people. At the same time, she is so very compassionate. She is the whole package. Thank you, Dr. Merrill, for being a very important part of my life!!!

Karen Al-Shemmeri Mother/Anti-Racist-in-Training

I came old and late to the anti-racism struggle. Watching Dr. Merrill brook no fools has brought out in me the strength to interrupt racism every time it presents itself. She is deeply honest, authentic, and self- actualized. Dr. Merrill shows the way. She sets, then holds, personal and professional boundaries in ways that are not only effective but inspirational.

Paul Garbarini Co-Founder, Ancestors Fingermarks Project

I first met Dr. Mary Canty Merrill on Facebook where she works tirelessly to awaken us white folks to our responsibility for the racist system we created in this country from its inception and that we obliviously assume is somehow acceptable to this day! It isn’t! I took an online seminar via phone conference from Dr. Canty Merrill and learned much about myself and my skin-kin that I had never been challenged to examine. I am a white, southern woman of 79 years who thought that I was up to speed about racial inequities, but I had yet to explore the concept and reality of white privilege, institutional racism, white fragility and a history of white colonialism and oppression. I am still learning and trying to get other white folks to examine these issues and figure out ways to remedy our attitudes. Dr. Canty Merrill pulls no punches in confronting racism, white privilege, and white fragility! She is forthright and honest. She will hold up a mirror and demand you take an honest look. If you refuse to look at yourself honestly then she will inform you and leave you to try to repair your false image! She is a powerhouse of truth and reality.

Brenda C. Blackwelder, PhD Retired, Central Piedmont Community College

I find that Dr. Canty Merrill has deep insight into organizational blindness about flaws and precision solutions for fixing corporate developmental issues.

Kim Akins Attorney, Kim Akins LPA

Dr. Merrill delivers the message that the world needs to hear. She is an unflinching critic of the racist cultural climate of America and with her rapier-like wit offers a scathing condemnation we would all do well to heed.

Annalyssa Gypsy Murphy, PhD Professor & Independent Research Scholar

I have been a follower of Dr. Canty Merrill’s social media presence for over two years and I have learned so much from her! She never fails to say exactly what is on her mind and does not shrink from any challenge in any of the comments sparked by her posts, especially when she is addressing white people. I am a white woman who has learned more about my own racism and my blindness to the violence that racism perpetrates onto Black and Brown people in my sphere, especially Black women, through her thought provoking posts. Dr. Canty Merrill is exactly the voice we white people need if we are truly intentional about dismantling white supremacy and our roll in that system of oppression. If you are looking for someone who will not shy away from the challenging conversations that foster truth and systemic change, Dr. Canty Merrill is who you need. I appreciate her presence in my life.

Dee Shanti Volunteer Advocate, Poor People’s Campaign

Mary shows up unapologetically as her authentic self, every time. Her transparency and unfettered truth is refreshing in so many spaces where PR sometimes appears more important than personal accountability. Mary’s skill set includes clearing the way for hard conversations to take place and a plan to move forward that benefits individuals, corporations, and whole communities. She is a treasure trove of knowledge, wisdom, growth.

Heather Watkins Disability Rights Advocate & Author