Alezandra Melendrez

President of Freedom Research Institute

Pronouns: She/Her

Alezandra is a Latinx critical educator and community-based scholar who was born and raised in Chula Vista near the border, with ancestral roots in Baja California and New Mexico. Professionally, Alezandra comes to her work as a researcher and a former special education public school teacher, teaching in the Bronx and Harlem and is a soon to be Ph.D. graduate. She has spent the past 16 years investing in the leadership of young people of color rooted in Critical Pedagogies and arts education, and holding space for young people to imagine a freer and more just world. 

Her commitment to research as a tool for social, personal and political liberation is shaped by her experience navigating childhood trauma and the belief that those most impacted should lead this work. Alezandra came to the YWFC as a volunteer in 2016 and later became the first Director of Research. Together, an intergenerational team of womxn community scholars are building the Freedom Research Institute as a model for engaging in participatory and decolonizing research, because “without community there is no liberation.” – Lorde