Join us for a dynamic conversation with Melissa Rodriguez who will share about her experience as a veteran and activist. Melissa was born in Azusa, California. She is of Mexican and Indigenous descent. Her maternal grandparents immigrated from Mexico and her paternal descend from the Southwest region. Her great-grandfather and grandfather were migrant farmworkers in Southern California. She retired from the Air Force in Aug 2013 at Wright-Patterson AFB after serving 24 years on active duty. Melissa is active in community and political activism. Her desire to serve has continued beyond her time on active duty. This includes issues such as Veteran Affairs, LGBTQ, Healthcare, Immigration and Women’s rights. Melissa's passion for activism comes partly from her life experience and journey navigating the intersectionality of her identity. This drives her to advocate for communities deeply impacted by inequality. She now leads a grassroots group DIFA that advocates and educates on social justice issues and voting.
In this discussion, Melissa will reflect her years of service as an active duty member of the Air Force and as a local activist. Melissa will share lessons learned from building Dayton Indivisible for All, an organization that draws attention to social justice issues and voting. She will discuss the role that her Mexican and Indigenous heritage plays in her life, as well as the challenges of being a gay, Hispanic, woman in the military.
This program is in conjunction with Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month