Melissa has published works of fiction, narrative nonfiction, and essays. In 2016, she co-authored the novel PRETTY LITTLE WORLD with Elizabeth Laban, which was published on the Lake Union Imprint of Amazon Publishing. Her memoir/short read “Neighbors” was selected to be part of the inaugural collection of Amazon Original Stories’ “The Real Thing,” alongside authors Jade Chang, Wednesday Martin, W. Kamau Bell, Samantha Allen, and Eddie Huang. She has published essays in The New York Times, CNN, Bustle and on Medium.
After her 2018 viral video of two Black men unjustly arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks sparked an international conversation and prompted the coffee chain to close 8,000 stores for implicit bias training, Melissa dedicated herself to activism. She writes extensively on the role of white Americans in antiracism work to inspire action toward racial equity and justice. Her work has been featured on NPR, CNN, and on Medium. She is currently at work on a forthcoming book, UNCOMFORTABLE.