Dear friends of Melissa,
Many of you have been following the story of videos taken of Melissa last fall while she was supporting the efforts of students of color (ConcernedStudent1950) on the University of Missouri campus. I won't retell all the details here (see links below).
After months of support from the University, including positive assurances that she will be afforded due process, the politically and racially-motivated anger of Missouri legislators, the Board of Curators, and the MU chancellor, Melissa has been fired from the University of Missouri and her appeal rejected.
Alongside the American Association of University Professor’s announcement that they will investigate the University of Missouri’s failure to follow university procedure, Melissa has retained an employment lawyer experienced with faculty cases. The lawyer’s services are costly and Melissa needs to raise funds quickly for a retainer and for costs associated with Melissa’s case (filing fees, deposition charges, travel between St. Louis and Columbia). Melissa has been advised to expect these costs to be around $25,000.
The past four months are taking a severe toll on our friend. She has endured blow-after-blow and now has to make some very difficult decisions. In addition, she and her family have lost the income that came from her faculty salary. Because she was fired, her eligibility for unemployment is uncertain. While Melissa is looking for new employment, the academic hiring process and time of year will make it difficult for her to find comparable work soon. Furthermore, Melissa has been advised that her legal battle will likely take 1.5 to 2 years to complete.
All the funds previously donated have been used to pay Melissa’s legal costs incurred thus far. New contributions will be used to help Melissa and her family support themselves and pay for the legal costs of her case against the University of Missouri in the months and potentially years ahead.
Your emails and posts supporting Melissa have lifted her spirits during very heavy days. I can't thank you enough for standing with her, and I wish emotional support was enough to see her through this. Unfortunately, she now faces the very real challenges of unemployment, and the high costs of legal actions. She needs material support to secure herself and her family. Please consider a recurring gift, if you can afford it. Rest assured that anything you can give will mean so much to her, and me.
NinaAAUP to Investigate University of Missouri's Dismissal of Melissa Click
(AAUP)Why We are Going Public with our Support of Melissa Click
(Chronicle of Higher Education)Actions on quadrangle were spontaneous, instinctive and regrettable
(Columbia Daily Tribune)Why are ‘free speech’ advocates so eager to silence Melissa Click?
(Kansas City Star editorial)Interview with Melissa Click
(KBIA-NPR)Scapegoats in the Culture War
(Atlantic article)Full interview with Dr. Melissa Click