Melisa Stephen, Healthcare and Economic Justice Organizer
Melisa Stephen is originally from the South (Louisville, KY) but has found a nurturing home in Chicago's radical QTPOC (queer and trans people of color) community, where they've also experienced their most profound politicization. They first started organizing as an undegraduate student at Northwestern University around issues and campaigns like BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions), sexual assault awareness/Title IX, and Black Lives Matter, and have since been organizing around racial and gender justice issues in Chicago.
Melisa is a founding member of For the People Artists Collective, a group of Black and POC artists and cultural organizers in Chicago who create artwork for grassroots social justice efforts. They are also a core member of Chicago Dyke March and Brown & Proud Press.
As a South Asian diasporic, non-binary, queer, depressed, femme artist and organizer, they like to think they manifest their ancestors' wildest dreams by carrying my identities as unapologetically as they can on any given day. They are constantly striving to learn and transform, to bring politics out from the clouds of theory and into the realm of the inter/personal and living practice, to center the lives of those existing at the margins of the margins. They want to live in a world without borders, pipelines, prisons or police. MelisaI can't wait to see what we can build and dream up together!