Melissa Banigan
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Sweet things...

  • I'm allergic to bees and wasps;

  • I've eaten edible wasps (and many other edible insects);

  • I used to live with a beekeeper;

  • I was once chased half a mile by a swarm of bees;

  • A 98-year-old historian once hit on me by saying my name actually meant, "the sweetest of all honey";

  • The Celts thought honeybees were "messengers from the Gods." Since I have an affinity to these tiny creatures, I think that expressing myself through writing is perhaps as close as I'll get to God.

About Melissa

When you shoot an arrow of truth,

dip its point in honey. 
                                   – Arab proverb

My name, Melissa, is derived from the Latin words, Apis mellifera, which means "bee that bears honey." The name just about sums me up: I work well with others, enjoy the buzz I get from solving complex puzzles, create delicious products, and sting only when truly provoked. 
In 2013, I founded Advice Project Media, a nonprofit organization that offers journalism and filmmaking programs for youth and women around the world. My work focuses on gender equality/reproductive justice and health, teen rights, youth participation in journalism and government, and environmental justice. 
In addition to my nonprofit work, I am also:
 
  • A freelance multimedia journalist with work in The Washington Post, CNN, the BBC, NPR, ZiNG Magazine, Fodor's, The Independent, and the Chicago Tribune, among many others.
  • A content strategist and project manager with nearly ten years of experience working with many clients, including Scholastic, Barclays, Marriott, NYU-Polytechnic, FlexShares, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Project Explorer, the American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), and Focus Investment Group. 
  • The founder of Hivemind Communications, a content strategy company that places client-owned bylines with major publications such as Scientific American, Forbes, The Next Web, AlleyWatch, and Information Week. 
  • An author. My first book, Coping with Teen Pregnancy, was published January 2019 with Rosen Publishing, YA (buy now on Amazon). I've also authored two  books with Rosen in 2019 about how youth can participate in government.
  • A trained art historian (Columbia University) and curator. The last exhibit I curated was for the American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) at the  Joseph Raphael De Lamar House (a gorgeous Beaux-Art mansion that houses the Polish Consulate in NYC). 
When I'm not working, I'm still as busy as a bee! A francophile and avid traveler, I write about my world travels (in francophone and non-French-speaking countries alike!) on a site I founded called Travel Solo After 40.