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Exploring history, social justice and the arts: Getting to know Melanie Guther



Humanity in Action is excited to introduce Melanie Guther, our new Program Coordinator for the Berlin office. In her new role, she will join the Landecker Democracy Fellowship Team, and also contribute to social media tasks for Humanity in Action Germany.

Melanie is mostly excited to work with the Fellows to support their Action Projects. “Life is not just about theory,” she believes, adding that she cannot wait to dive into the “Action” part of Humanity in Action’s Fellowships.

Especially this year, the Landecker Democracy Fellowship’s theme of Democracy and the Politics of Memory deeply resonates with her.

Melanie was born in Berlin, Germany and raised in the rather politically vocal Berkeley, California. She is lucky to credit much of her interest in art, cultural exchange, and activism to the open mindedness and diversity of both her homes.

“I am mostly interested in history that isn’t usually told.”

Indeed, this background clearly shaped her worldview today. Following the Black Lives Matter movement, among others, Melanie cultivated a passion for history and storytelling. “I am mostly interested in history that isn’t usually told,” she explains.

Choosing History and Media Studies for her undergraduate degree was then an easy one to make. During her bachelor studies, Melanie was able to undergo a study abroad program in Berlin, where she could reconnect with her “second home,” but also enjoy the freedom of academically focusing on her exact interests. Melanie focused on Black feminist history, and already started contemplating her next career and academic steps.

“Having the law firm experience, I knew I wanted to be an advocate for people outside of the system.”

Back in California, she decided to work towards social justice by volunteering at a non-profit organization focusing on non-violence, followed by a year-long engagement with a law firm. “Having the law firm experience, I knew I wanted to be an advocate for people outside of the system,” Melanie shared. 

Therefore, her next steps have led Melanie back to Berlin, where she is currently concluding her masters program focused on Cultural Studies at the John F. Kennedy Institute at the Freie Universität Berlin.

During this programming, Melanie has continued to engage with and foster communities, this time with the German American Fulbright Commission. “I have especially loved organizing events on the themes of diversity and media literacy,” Melanie revealed.

“There is no one way to live your life!”

When not studying or working, Melanie loves to follow her passion for the arts, especially music and dance. “They are very collective, they bring people together,” she explains, noting that art is her form of therapy. Outside of the arts, Melanie loves to join her twin sister for travels, or catch a game of women’s soccer.  “There is no one way to live your life,” she laughs.

Melanie, welcome to the team!