Melanie Brazell

Melanie Brazell

Department of Sociology, University of California Santa Barbara

As a Chancellor’s Fellow, Melanie Brazzell studies gender, critical criminology, and social movements. Melanie’s dissertation focuses on transformative justice alternatives to prison and policing, particularly for gender-based violence. Drawing on their involvement in the feminist anti-violence movement for over fifteen years in both the U.S. and Germany, Melanie’s participatory research and community engagement are housed within the “What Really Makes Us Safe?” Project.

Melanie is currently exploring research as a movement building tool through collaborations with the Momentum Community, the Just Beginnings Collaborative, and the Realizing Democracy Project. Together with movement partners like Sunrise and Color Of Change, Melanie recently authored the Building Structure Shapes report. To continue this work, Melanie joined the SNF Agora Institute’s P3 Lab at Johns Hopkins University as a pre-doctoral fellow this academic year (2021-2022).

Melanie is also passionate about pedagogy, having worked for eight years in Berlin as a teacher at a co-operative, democratic high school for non-traditional adult students, which won the Bosch Foundation’s second place prize for best school in Germany in 2016. Melanie received a Bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a Master’s from Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.

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