Advocate Stories

7 Questions with Melissa Moore

by WREN on Aug 22, 2019

Our nest is getting bigger! Meet WREN’s newest staff member and Lowcountry Manager, Melissa Moore.

1. Where are you from?

I’m from Mount Pleasant, SC’s fourth-largest municipality that likes to pretend it’s a sleepy little beach town. I grew up in Charleston and graduated with a BS in Sociology from the College of Charleston. I’m still here and doing my best to improve this little section of the planet.

2.  What did you do previously before coming to WREN?

I’ve been “professionally queer” since 2005 when I served as assistant to the Executive Director for Alliance For Full Acceptance (AFFA) in Charleston. After my time at AFFA, I worked on SC Equality’s “Fairness For All Families Campaign” against a constitutional “marriage” amendment that enshrined anti-LGBTQ discrimination into the state Constitution. I’ve helped increase abortion access in SC through my position as State Coordinator with Provide, Inc. That job led to my 9-year stint as Executive Director for We Are Family (WAF), the only organization in SC dedicated to providing direct services and support for LGBTQ+ youth. During my tenure at WAF, I launched a social enterprise called Closet Case Thrift Store, opened a resource navigation center for people experiencing homelessness, and conducted the Charleston YOUth Count, the first-ever study of youth homelessness in Charleston County. I’ve most recently served as Director of Operations for Housing For All- Mount Pleasant, a nonprofit that seeks to develop affordable housing. I couldn’t be more excited about this new, dreamy chapter of my career with  WREN.

3. What drove you to get involved in this cause?

Reproductive justice touches every aspect of our lives from the time we’re born until the day we die. Our reproductive choices guide our access to educational opportunities, housing, job prospects, and so much more. The policymakers who wish to control our reproductive choices share an agenda with those who want to control our sexuality and gender expression. I’m drawn to this cause because I want my gender-marginalized SC Family to thrive, seizing an abundance of opportunity.

4. When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?

In my spare time, I devour books, play bass poorly but passionately, pet my fur babies (two cats and two dogs), snuggle with bae, and watch trashy reality television shows.

5. If you could meet one person from any period of time, who would it be?

Lao Tzu because the Tao Te Ching guided me through my formative years.

6. What is one mantra that you live by?

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any” -Alice Walker

That mantra carried me through some of the toughest times in my life when I was ready to give up.

7. What’s one thing you’re excited about that’s coming up in 2019/2020?

Picking one thing is impossible, so I’ll give you my top 5:

1- Building on the work of my incredible colleagues at WREN.

2- Collaborating with the most talented group of community organizations and advocates around.

3- Doing work that improves the lives of gender-marginalized people in our state.

4- Politicking with donors, movers, and shakers.

5- Building on the work of my incredible colleagues at WREN.


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