Melissa Galatas has been an advocate for victims of domestic violence since 2014. She is the Domestic Violence Case Coordinator for the Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence (GCCFN) where she has also served as a Resident Advisor, Court Advocate, Community Advocate, and Outreach Educator. She is a passionate advocate for human rights, including victim rights, the right to due process, and the right for members of marginalized communities to exist openly and freely. She leads GCCFN’s Coordinated Community Response Team whose mission is to ensure the coordination of a consistent, victim-centered response to domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking through collaboration and communication between agencies of all disciplines along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
In her personal life, Melissa spends time researching power structures within families, communities, and societies as a whole and how these power structures oppress Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Women, Trans, Queer, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and people outside of heteronormative sexual orientations and gender. This list includes so many other people placed in boxes by those in power based on who they are, where they are from, who they love, what economic class they are in, what language they speak, etc. She strongly believes that if all members of these communities come together, we can pave the way for our collective thriving.
As a newly-out member of the LGBTQ+ community, Melissa is excited to be involved as a Gulf Coast Equality Board Member through active participation in events and outreach and to get to know other LGBTQ+ activists and allies.
Melissa is active in her local church and serves as a member of the Vision Team, Production Team, and Worship Team.
After moving throughout the country, Melissa’s family settled on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 2002. She now lives in Ocean Springs with her two cats, Bebe and Georgie, and a garden full of plants she loves to tend.