Melissa Brown, Champion of Equity

From the Jan/Feb 2021 issue of Equity & Access Pre K-12

Melissa is finally comfortable being an “out” educator. But she knows it’s a different, and often tragic, situation for LGBTQ youth. While teachers are huge role models for all their students, for LGBTQ students, it can be a matter of life and death. That’s why Melissa is passionate about the need for LGBTQ educators to be out and visible.

“Every one of us is a better human being when we are living authentically and allowed to be who we are. If I can just impact one person’s thinking about embracing that idea, I will have done my job.” — Melissa Brown

An educator for 30 years, Melissa Brown is now Lead Director of Schools at Pearson Online and Blended Learning, including the Connections Academy K-12 Online Schools. She was the founding Executive Director at Indiana Connections Academy, which serves 5,000+ students annually statewide.

Melissa has seen how Connections Academy schools are almost “accidental” safe spaces for LGBTQ youth. Dedicated to living her life so that students see everyone has value, Melissa developed inclusivity/equity best practices for LGBTQ youth, which are now implemented in all Connections Academy schools. Connect with Melissa Brown at:

  • LinkedIn: @melissa-brown-7780696
  • Twitter: @MBrownINCA1

See More Champions of Equity

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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