Melissa Grim is an artist who was born in Fujian, China, and was primarily raised overseas until attending college in the U.S. for a degree in Ballet Pedagogy. She then went on to obtain a degree in Philosophy at Penn State University. After obtaining a Master’s in Theological Studies at Boston University and a J.D. from DePaul School of Law, she has primarily worked at the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation (RFBF).
Melissa has many names, including Malika, which she was given when living among Uyghurs in Xinjiang, China. This continued to be her name while attending primary school in Kazakhstan, shortly before and after the fall of the former USSR. This is where her love of art and dance truly formed. She always attended local national schools in each country that she lived in, and Kazakhstan was truly special due to its culture, people, horses and vast apple orchards.
Melissa is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the ReligiousFreedom and Business Foundation. The RFBF is currently working with the Free Yazidi Foundation to bring attention to the plight of Yazidi women, and their especially children, who are the product of rape and torture by ISIS. The Free Yazidi Program is working towards allowing the women the freedom to establish and run their own businesses, while allowing them to keep their children — who unfortunately, the broader Yazidi community is too painful a reminder of the ISIS terror, and so are not welcome back.