She / Her / Hers
Melissa grew up in Southern Maine in a community that looked a lot like Central Oregon does today. She was often surrounded by people with a similar cultural background to her and was not frequently asked to confront her identity growing up. As a result of this and her immense privilege, she is constantly humbled by all that she has to learn with regard to her allyship practices and her relationships with others. She owes so much of her growth thus far to the countless individuals that have shared their stories with her and called her out when needed.
Melissa recognizes that we all come to this work from different paths and that much of the learning process can be challenging and complex. As someone who is passionate about education in general, she enjoys tailoring her facilitation to meet the needs of each audience and is inspired by the opportunity to leverage the individual strengths and experiences that each person brings to the table.
Much of Melissa’s anti-oppression work in Central Oregon has been through her previous role at Saving Grace as the Volunteer Program and Prevention Coordinator. These efforts were primarily focused on supporting survivors of intimate partner/sexual violence and on helping young people develop healthy relationship skills. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and a Masters in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership with a focus on Diversity and Equity. She currently works remotely for a non-profit organization in the education sector.