Design student Melissa Fernandez (genderfluid) was born in Miami. Their parents immigrated to the US from Mexico. Melissa is currently majoring in illustration at the ArtCenter in Pasadena, California, creating artworks that include comics, graphic novels, digital paintings, animations and collages.
In addition, they are active as a co-organizer of the Antiracist Classroom, an organization founded in 2017 at the initiative of Dr Elizabeth Chin, a member of the Media Design Practices faculty. The occasion was the march of Neo-Nazis and the KKK in Charlottesville that took place at the time, where one of the radical right-wing demonstrators intentionally drove his car into a group of protestors.
The Antiracist Classroom, which includes students and faculty members, has since been working to combat racist structures and white supremacy in design education and the design profession. Melissa is a co-organizer of events including a short film festival of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) filmmakers and also designs the information media for these events. In addition, they are a co-president of the Outcenter organization for queer culture at the ArtCenter College of Design.