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.
Five fun facts about Melissa:
- I have three hilarious children.
- I have climbed fifteen mountains in the last two years and look forward to more mountain climbing as often as possible.
- I am terrified of bees. Know what that phobia is called? Melissophobia.
- 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).
- 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.
Director of Education
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.
Five Fun Facts about Dana:
- I have a twin brother (Yes, I am older. By 2.5 minutes. Yes, he is also queer)!
- I like to ferment foods. If I ever started a business, I decided I’d call it “pickled pink”
- 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.
- 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.
- I’d rather go up a mountain than go down it.
Pronouns: he/him, they/them, or Dana!
Director of Advocacy & Director of Events and Marketing
I love food! Making it, eating it, hearing all about it. One of my favorite books is called the Search for Delicious–basically the story of my life. I earned a BA in Gender Studies and Political Science from Saint Michael’s College and have been an advocate for folks dealing with sexual violence, intimate partner violence, teen dating violence, and stalking for my entire professional life. My favorite part of that work is talking to anyone (everyone!) about healthy relationships, consent, and how to radicalize relationships in the queer community and beyond. Together with my stalwart canine side-kick Max and the magnanimous help of some other folks I know, we confront squirrels and injustice fearlessly.
5 Fun Facts About Amanda:
- I can whistle with an acorn top!
- And poach an egg!
- I love adventures: Geocaching in my own neighborhood or jet setting around the world like a real fancy pants, I love it all.
- I always ask my pup Max how his day was
- The two of us would be serious contenders in a Treats and Snoozin’ Olympics
Director of Programs
I am a creative empathic, who values a good joke, and loves a good karaoke song! I am about to earn my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, which has shaped who I am as a listener and supporter. For almost five years, I have been working to support youth with developmental trauma to continue to grow within their home communities. They have taught me the importance of relationships, as well as where to get the best milkshake in Franklin County.
5 Fun Facts about Erika:
- I can be very competitive at team games, or any game, really…
- If I see an actor in a film, and I can’t remember their name, I have to Google it (or IMDB) and figure out where I recognize them from.
- I have laughed until I’ve cried on numerous occasions.
- I am an introverted-extrovert. I can be shy at first, but have a hard time quieting down when wrapped up in a passionate conversation. It also means that I charge my battery at home, on the couch, with a good movie.
- I love finding a new “water spot” to swim, that I often convince myself that I am the first to discover it.
Camp Outright Coordinator
- I graduated from High School early, but then got really excited about life and adventures and took nearly 9 years to eventually earn a college degree.
- I am very curious and a total geek for information. If I hear about something that I find interesting, I will go to the library (or even ask google) and learn/read more about it.
- I can quote/re-enact lots of classic good/bad movies, particularly those I grew up with from the ’80’s. “This is my dream, my wish!!”
- I love cooking and baking and growing food and preserving food and making awesome things with food…food. It’s delicious.
- I like to run, especially on trails. A lot. Apparently it’s kind of a thing. By the time I get to camp I’ll have run the VT100 in July, so ask me all about it.
Not to be confused with the other Melissa from the Midwest, hi! I’m also Melissa and also from the Midwest. I’m originally from Michigan, but have the hiking boots and plaid to pass as a Vermonter. After earning my BA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Michigan, I moved out to Vermont as an AmeriCorps member and never left. I’m excited to bring my passions for social justice and working with youth to Outright!
5 Fun Facts About Melissa
- I am a bird person and have owned over a dozen pet birds (though currently own zero).
- I can form my tongue into a clover.
- I’ve been a vegetarian most my life and love making and sharing vegetarian food.
- I’m close with my five older sibling, but the one who lives closest is over 600 miles away!
- I’ve had many nicknames, including M&M, Shoosh, Moes, Lissy, Missa, Mel, Meli, Molosso, M, Goldie, etc. I’ve also lived in many houses that had their own nicknames (one of which — Mordor — has kept the name for years since I moved out)!
Pronouns: she/her or they/them
- I speak three languages fluently and at one time or another been able to get by in another three.
- I’ve spent a weekend on Easter Island, one of the most remote islands on earth.
- A lot of my family was born along the Amazon river
- I’ve co-authored a couple of books you might recognize (hint: … for Dummies).
- Our family raises our own turkeys for the fall holidays.