Matthew Jesse Melendrez, a third-generation Latino, lives in San Luis Obispo, CA with his wife Lindsey and son Micah. He is a speaker, counselor, and activist who is fighting for justice, liberation, and freedom for marginalized communities.
In his work with The Lenses Group, Matthew gave leadership to 5 day Lenses Institutes that explore race, power, privilege, and culture for groups of 50-80 across the country and in South Africa. Through his years doing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work, he has found the fight for justice is complex and layered, and he desires to create space for the nuanced aspects of DE&I work. He utilizes tools such as the Intercultural Development Inventory and Intercultural Conflict Style Inventory to coach and develop teams in their individual and collective efforts in DEI work.
He is currently working on his Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a hope of serving communities of color, primarily Black and Brown men. This passion was birthed through encountering the many inequities and stigmas surrounding mental health care for men of color. He is also a Rape and Domestic Violence Crisis Counselor through the state of California. In addition to his academics, he co-hosts The Roll Down podcast, which centers Black and Brown voices and the intersectionalities of justice.
Matthew is a public speaker and consultant on the following subjects: DE&I/Racial reconciliation, faith and justice, toxic masculinity/women’s liberation, gender-based violence, mental health, interracial marriage and raising biracial children, and leading culturally competent teams.