“Melly gave a talk to our cohort of first-year students at Hollins University, a historical women's college. She was engaging, knowledgeable, insightful, approachable, and passionate and our students truly enjoyed interacting with her and answering questions during the presentation. Their feedback was overwhelmingly positive, they felt inspired and empowered, and appreciated Melly’s use of popular culture in her presentation about the Black Diaspora. She created a safe and welcoming space for them to engage and think about various issues, she is a voice that students across the country need to hear.”
– Jeanne Jégousso, Assistant Professor at Hollins University
“As our keynote speaker for our 11th Annual Women’s Conference at San Francisco State University, Melly went above and beyond our expectations. The topic of our conference was “Redefining Feminism” and Melly's speech perfectly tied into what our team was trying to share with students. As Melly broke down her seminal theory "Dirty Theory," our audience (18 to 30 year-olds) thought she was extremely relatable. During her talk, she contextualized the particular plight of Black women, girls, and Queer folks through the historical and cultural contributions of Haiti. Our guests relayed great feedback, naming that they left the conference feeling moved by her extraordinary organizing, inspired by her presence, and more culturally aware of the Black Radical Tradition. We feel so fortunate to have shared space with Melly—an innovative and insightful cultural worker bridging music and visual art to illustrate Black Queer futures."
— Haley Fonseca, Undergraduate at San Francisco State University
"I first was introduced to Melly and her work when I ran across a YouTube video of hers where she talked about racial battle fatigue, and I was immediately intrigued by her. Shortly after, I worked at Saginaw Valley State University to bring Melly virtually to campus as our keynote speaker for Women's History Month. Melly's contribution to Saginaw Valley's Women's History Month was immense and moving for all who were able to attend and hear from her!"
— Cherokee Johnson, Undergraduate at Saginaw State Valley University
“Melly delivered a powerful, timely, and cohesive lecture on the current state of affairs for Black students in higher education. She solidified her credibility from the beginning by grounding her perspective in Black feminist theory, and making explicit how these frameworks illuminate the challenges educators and staff must overcome to close opportunity and outcome gaps, and make the environment more nurturing. After her address, multiple employees asked me for the recording so they could share with their own children who are struggling with their college experiences, and could use Melly’s guidance on how to advocate for themselves as students of color. Melly’s impact definitely went beyond those who attended, and we deeply appreciated having her close out our inaugural Speaker Series.”
—Zachary Romo, Coordinator of the Center for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Gateway Community College
“We invited Melly to speak to a group of faculty after hearing her speak at another event earlier in the summer. This session was focused on teaching race in the classroom, a much needed conversation in higher education. As one faculty member noted, "Melly is a gifted speaker and leader – she was able to capture and hold our attention as she shared her experiences as a Black college student in an anti-Bblack context. She tied her story quite expertly back to theory and the scholars who have published in this area.” Melly offered a masterclass in storytelling that provided thoughtful insights and lessons that can be applied immediately into today's classroom. Even for faculty members where the conversation about anti-Blackness can be difficult to embrace, Melly created an energizing space where everyone was able to listen and leave with a more open heart and mind about what is needed to move forward.”
— Marie Angeles, Director of Student Affairs, Evans School of Public Policy & Governance
“Melly first caught my attention when she was a panelist in a roundtable discussion for SpeakOut’s Summer Institute and I knew she would be an impactful guest speaker for our university community. Her presentation on the intricacies and history of the Black Identity invited everyone into the conversation to learn while centering the experiences of BIPOC students. Not only is Melly a dynamic panelist, she is also a powerful and engaging keynote speaker. Our university community was captivated by Melly’s presentation, which ignited crucial conversations on our campus.”
— Monique Dumaine, Assistant Director of Student Involvement & Leadership, Assistant Director of Student Involvement & Leadership, Johnson & Wales University