Hi, I’m Melissa (she/her), a recent graduate from Barnard College. I studied Urban Studies with a specialization in Political Science. I am passionate about advocating for the rights of immigrants and refugees everywhere in the world, but especially in Southeast Asia, kampung halaman saya (Indonesian for “my hometown”).

I ask a lot of questions, so much so that people around me may find it 烦恼 (fán nǎo, which is Mandarin for annoying). What is ? a case of? What are the dominant narratives about the case? Who wins and who loses? How did things come to be this way? What is to be done?

I frequently scrutinize how my privilege affects where I stand on the issues of gender equality, colonialism and white supremacy, and climate change. Am I an ally to women from the Global South and to the LGBTQ community or do I perpetuate heteronormative and patriarchal gender roles? As a PoC, am I complicit in upholding racist institutions and ideals? By consuming recklessly today, am I disregarding the welfare of future generations?

As I seek to navigate the social world around me—and decipher my duties a member of society—I realize that I am but a single person, limited by my own positionality and the need to social distance. Therefore, will you share your story with me? I’m ready to listen.