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Our Staff

Melissa Murray, Executive Director

Preferred pronouns: she/her

Melissa Murray is a queer mama and a social justice activist. She has worked in a variety of social justice movements, including anti-violence, racial justice, reproductive health, and queer rights. In Ohio, she worked with LGBTQ students at the Ohio State University, and provided sober support to queer women in recovery. Melissa holds a BA in Women’s Studies and a Masters in Social Work, both from the Ohio State University. Outside of work, Melissa is an avid hiker and climber and loves exploring Vermont. Melissa is excited to bring her talents to Outright Vermont to work with and on behalf of queer youth.

Contact Melissa at ed[at]outrightvt.org

Five fun facts about Melissa:

  1. I have three hilarious daughters.
  2. I have climbed eleven mountains in the last year and look forward to more mountain climbing this summer.
  3. I am terrified of bees. Know what that phobia is called? Melissophobia. 
  4. I can read a book in a day if I like it well enough (no matter how long it is). Favorite book? Probably Harry Potter (all of them).
  5. It would take me more than a month to listen to all the songs on my iPod. Best Album of all time? 69 Love Songs by the Magnetic Fields.

Micah Barritt, Director of Programs

Preferred Pronouns: He/They

After living outside of Vermont for 12 years, Micah moved back to his hometown and joined the Outright family. Micah grew up in Burlington and studied studio art at Smith College. He has spent the past four years working in elementary schools in Oakland, CA and Portland, OR. You can find Micah in the youth drop-in space, at Friday Night group, or working hard to plan next year’s Camp Outright with the Common Ground Center. When not at Outright, Micah is usually riding his bike (while wearing a helmet, of course!), playing sports, or reading a young adult novel.

Five Fun Facts – Micah 

  1. I play ice hockey.
  2. In the past 5 years I have ridden over 15,000 miles on my bicycle.
  3. I have a list of 40 things I want to do by the time I’m 40. Some are big, like: build a house. And some are silly, such as: wear a disguise so good it fools someone who knows me or touch the bottom of an elephant’s foot.
  4. If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, I would choose sandwiches.
  5. I love to sew. Animal costumes are my specialty.

Micah can be reached at micah@outrightvt.org

Dana Kaplan, Director of Education

Preferred pronouns: he/him, they/them, or dana!dana

As the Director of Education, I seem to wear many hats… which suits me well as a person who likes to have lots of options! I got my graduate degree in Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies, and that lens of question-asker and relationship-builder  is definitely woven into how I approach the world.
A day in the life of Dana at Outright:
Some days I’m on the road traveling to middle and high schools to talk with students about ways to make it better in their schools. Sometimes I’m having those conversations with school faculty and administrators, as we dive into the world of what it looks like to be an awesome ally.
I also have the very cool responsibility of advising undeniably the most rad school groups across our state… our Vermont school-based QSA’s! Which means I also get to work closely with a fantastic group of Advisors, too. Sometimes I get to be an event planner for things like the Vermont Queer & Allied Youth Summit (PROM!), and the Fall Conference. And other times I’m fine-tuning my administrative skills back here at the home base, making sure to field questions and provide support to community members and educators, track our trainings, make fun facebook and website posts, and just generally stay organized behind-the-scenes.
I believe in the power of peer-to-peer education, and want to make sure YOUR voices are infused  in everything we do. So come talk to me!

Five Fun Facts – Dana…

  1. I have a twin brother (Yes, I am older. By 2.5 minutes. Yes, he is also queer)!
  2. I like to ferment foods. If I ever started a business, I decided I’d call it “pickled pink”
  3. I play in an indie pop band that’s toured internationally and released 4 albums, but I’ve never actually thought of myself as a musician.
  4. In my free time, I like to give hair cuts. I’m good at table tennis. I like to make my bed every morning. I’m told I’m a phenomenal driver… on both sides of the road! And, I can be a rule-follower, but I prefer to stretch them when I can.
  5. I’d rather go up a mountain than go down it.

Dana can be reached at dana@outrightvt.org

 

Howie Le, Director of Marketing and Events 

Preferred pronouns: he/his

Howie, a native Vermonter, holds a degree in Graphic Design from Champlain College. Howie entered into the non-profit world in 2010 working for the Boys and Girls Club of Burlington directing art programs and doing marketing work. He currently runs his own freelance graphic business and teaches a design internship course for high school seniors and juniors. A few of his responsibilities at Outright VT are fundraising, event management, and facilitating the marketing direction. On his own time, he loves to hike, consuming coffee and listening to classical music while reading.

Five Fun Facts – Howie

  1. I lived in NYC and hated it. I’m a small town/city kind of guy.
  2. I have two great mentees that I spend time with every week.
  3. I am very competitive at Connect Four. I’m not say that I’m very good, just competitive.
  4. I am a painter and I had an exhibition during the Art Hop in 2012.
  5. My favorite day of the week is my Spontaneous Sunday, where I can do absolutely nothing or a little of everything
Howie can be reached at howie@outrightvt.org