Shanell grew up in South Carolina, where she regularly encountered and witnessed racial and economic injustice. This forged in her a path of service and a commitment to justice and equity. Equipped with an undergraduate degree in sociology and a minor in crime, law & society, Shanell went on to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA, and carried her passion for service to communities across the globe. While working toward a master of public service, Shanell relocated to Philadelphia for an internship with the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation to work with the neighborhood revitalization grants program. Shanell joined the Fels Fund in 2015 where she is grants and operations manager. Highlights from her work include: streamlining the application process, moving the grant application and grants management system online, and redesigning the website. Beyond improving the efficiency of systems within the organization, she is a critical voice in the work towards equity and fight for justice.
She also serves on the steering committee for the Philadelphia Chapter of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy and is a member of the Philadelphia Black Giving Circle. In her personal time, Shanell indulges in the five F’s and one T: Faith, Family, Friends, Fitness, Food and Travel.