Dr. Mel Michelle Lewis is Chair of Humanistic Studies, Associate Professor of Gender/Sexuality & Black/Ethnic Studies, and Co-Founder of The Space for Creative Black Imagination: An Interdisciplinary Research and Making Institute at Maryland Institute College of Art. Their personal, professional, and political commitments are to Black and Indigenous people of color (BIPOC) and overlapping and interlocking queer, trans, nonbinary, intersex, and feminist communities pursuing social and environmental justice. Originally from Bayou la Batre, Alabama, their creative work explores queer of color themes in rural coastal settings. Dr. Mel is a Collaborator/ DEI Consultant with The Art of Change Agency, supporting critical voices and creative visions for sustainable practice, structural change, and social transformation within organizations, institutions, and communities. They also serve on the Baltimore City LGBTQ Commission and as the WSQ Journal (Women’s Studies Quarterly) Arts Editor.