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About  melia


My Story

I have a vivid memory from childhood.  I was watching TV and one of those ads came on... "for the price of a cup of coffee a day, you could save a life."  As you might be guessing, the life was that of a young girl in rural Africa.  The seed of my subconscious "white savior complex" was planted.  

That seed was nurtured through youth as my family volunteered in the community and contributed to programs for "those less fortunate."  Following college, I pursued a career in non-profit leadership working in both human services and arts organizations.  My desire to do good in the world was a driver in all decisions... especially the decision  to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Albania.  


So much of this story makes me proud. 

But... there's another side to it.

Living oversees set me on the journey of my own cultural awareness, revealing that good intentions alone are not enough to create change. In fact, my good intentions prevented me from seeing the assumptions, biases and internalized dominance I held.  The work of consciously shedding my savior complex and building the necessary resilience to combat all the fragility of my myriad social privilege has not been easy.  And being perfectly honest, my work is not over.  It is an on-going. life-long process.  Gloria Steinem has been quoted, "The truth will set you free, but it will piss you off first."  Ooo, can I attest to that!

My desire to do good remains a driver in all my decisions.

It's why I am committed to working with you... to help you move beyond the guilt and shame that comes as we move to unlearn the well-intended, yet damaging, behaviors we've been taught.  It's why I embrace the discomfort of imperfection and messing up.  It's why, no matter the magnitude of the task, I accept my role in dismantling systems of privilege and marginalization.  Because what lives on the other side is the development of socially just organizations and communities where everyone belongs, where businesses thrive and where our collective impact makes the world that much better


  • 15+ years experience in non-profit leadership including fundraising and development, program management and strategic planning. 

  • 5 years: Anti-bias Education Director, ADL offices in San Francisco CA and Phoenix, AZ.

  • Local Host Team Co-chair 2020, WPCMesa, The Privilege Institute's Annual Conference 

  • Monthly Host of Constructive White Conversations, Southwest Gathering

  • Year-long Inclusion Practitioner Certification from The Center for Transformation and Change.

  • 2 years: Service in Peace Corps Albania, Community and Organizational Development Volunteer.

  • Graduate of Penn State University... "We Are!"  Interpersonal Communications and Conflict Resolution

Non-traditional Credentials

  • Lover of travel, across the neighborhood or across the globe, there's always something new to experience

  • "geeks out" on all things social justice-related.

  • Avid binger of podcasts, audiobooks and streaming TV.

  • Sucker for "Old School Hip Hop" and most any music that makes me feel like dancing.

  • Ready and willing to help guide you and your team to bring equity, diversity and inclusion to the heart of your organization.


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