The Senate Committee on Committees has appointed Sarah Mell of Winooski to serve on the Vermont Commission on Women (VCW), the state’s non-partisan commission working to advance rights and opportunities for women and girls.
Mell is the Education and Outreach Coordinator at the University of Vermont’s Women and Gender Equity Center, work that explores the intersections of identities, power, and community as a means of advancing dialogue about gender equity and belonging. This position provides training and workshop opportunities for students, staff, and faculty on concepts of positive sexuality, the prevention of sexual and intimate partner violence, and the ways individuals experience power and privilege in relationship to ourselves and others.
Mell has worked not only in a variety of academic settings, but as an independent consultant, and in nonprofit organizations, including Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and HOPE Works. About joining the Commission at this time, they observed, “If COVID-19 has done anything for our state, I think it has made it clear that our community is both resilient and in need of a new focus on dismantling systems that separate us, and creating connections for us to grow together.” Mell is interested in examining how the Commission might “better represent the needs of all women and girls in Vermont, particularly centering the women who are too often overlooked - those experiencing systemic poverty, state-sanctioned violence, racial discrimination, and transmisogyny.”
Mell holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Vermont and an undergraduate degree from Western Michigan University. Their community service positions include facilitator and volunteer at Outright Vermont and board member, actor, singer, dancer and choreographer for multiple theater production companies, including Vermont Stage Company, Vermont Shakespeare Festival, and Middlebury Actors Workshop. Mell lives in Winooski.
The Vermont Commission on Women (VCW) is a non-partisan state agency working to advance rights and opportunities for women and girls. Sixteen volunteer commissioners and representatives from organizations concerned with women's issues guide VCW's public education, coalition building, and advocacy efforts.