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meet mariley

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Mariley Melo, I am 16 years old and I’m Dominican! I moved to Kissimmee in

August 2020 and immediately fell in love with the diversity.

When did you start your account?

I started my account March 2nd, 2021 and I felt that to make a change in my community I needed to take matters into my own hands.

Why were you inspired to start an account?

It made sense that since I had joined a Student Committee in my local government and opened the account, I could serve as a mediator between the community concerns, the street harassment, and the county commissioner. I also have the weight of all the women I know that have, at least once, suffered some kind of cat calling, myself included.

Why do you think “chalking back” is a good method to raise awareness? Why do you

think ending street harassment is important?

What is so great about chalking back is the initiative’s ability to catch people’s attention. Since the first chalk writing I did, people stopped and stared, it works!

What’s the most difficult street harassment situation you’ve experienced?

When it first happened here in Florida I was leaving a soccer game. I remember vividly a guy in a white car sticking his head out the window to yell something, anxiety took over my body and,

thankfully, I didn’t even understand what he said. This isn’t even my worst story, but they must

be shared!

What does being a part of this campaign mean to you?

As women we have no choice but to stand for each other regardless of race, gender,

sexuality, background, etc. This is what it means to be part of Chalk Back, to belong somewhere

free of judgement, where we are all fighting for a common purpose.

Also, I have always been an activist, and to have the amazing opportunity to raise awareness with a platform means everything to me.


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