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Stigma Warrior: Meet Melissa

Meet our new Stigma Warrior:

My name is Melissa Mannis and I am a Stigma Warrior! I currently work with the United Nations on the Peace Innovation Initiative, where we strive to create new ideas and ways to build the world in peace.

There is no greater gift than to live with care and compassion. Standing up to discrimination is important, regardless of how you identify yourself. We all share the same planet, our lives are more intertwined than we think— let’s help uplift one another.

Every instance of discrimination or stigma is also an opportunity to build positive change. In fighting stigma I try to transform it, giving everyone involved an opportunity to learn from one another and build a collectivized peace.

My advice to those facing stigma is to be courageous; you are not alone! There are others who have faced what you have and communities of those people exist. Talk to those you trust about your feelings and look for resources online to educate yourself on combating stigma within your community. Organizations like GLAAD and It Gets Better Project are perfect stepping stones to empowering yourself.

Compassionate is what best describes me as a stigma warrior. In creating peace, we must strive to better understand and educate each other.

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