Melissa Ray is a American Muslim woman who was born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan where she still resides alongside her dog (Duke), horse (Nitro), parents, and two daughters. She has a broad range of career experience, which includes: small government in Comstock Township, higher education in a University setting, corporate business in the pharmaceutical industry, business ownership in commercial property management, and retail. All of which have developed her well for her role at Aviators, where she effectively works with people from cultures around the world.
Melissa’s current role with Aviators as Human Rights Advocate and Engagement Strategist, focuses on advocating for the most vulnerable people in her community, including those experiencing homelessness, women and children, children affected by the School to Prison Pipeline, and those affected by human trafficking. Melissa specializes in investigation of human trafficking as it relates to homelessness and corruption in local government. She believes that change must come at the systemic level; this being accomplished when society is united through community development, political movement, and redesign of societal structure to eliminate the hierarchy. She is a strategist by necessity and design!
Melissa supports these causes, while keeping in mind the teachings of her childhood hero, Martin Luther King Jr, who said:
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
She embodies this concept by supporting all community causes through activism. Her primary focus became women and children after recognizing that true change can only manifest when all members of society are included. Melissa works to ensure that even the most underprivileged members are not left behind.
Melissa seeks to leave her mark by building relationships and bridging gaps between community groups. She diligently focuses on increasing awareness around issues affecting societies most vulnerable populations, improving equity in practices throughout local systems affecting women and children, legal reform that addresses the demand for human trafficking, and human trafficking investigation to secure indictments. Her intentions are illustrated by her actions, as evidenced by her humble yet direct approach to communicating with people and her dedication to those most in need. She continues to develop a globally engaged group of like-minded people who desire to accomplish a truly humanitarian society. The current scope of this focus is the development of her home state, Michigan with active efforts to develop global relationships. She holds a unique view of the potential of society and humanity which is driven by her faith in God.