Fil-Am educator Melissa Borja named among USA Today’s Women of the Year

Melissa Borja USA Today's Women of the Year
Fil-Am educator Melissa Borja is USA Today’s Woman of the Year honoree from the state of Indiana in the United States. Photo from LinkedIn.

Filipino-American educator and activist Dr. Melissa Borja has been named an honoree for USA Today’s Women of the Year program recognizing women across the United States who have made a significant impact.

Borja was honored on the publication’s list of inspiring women for her work against anti-Asian racism and is this year’s honoree from the state of Indiana.

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In 2020, Borja started the Virulent Hate Project, an initiative that uses news media to research trends in anti-Asian racism and Asian American activism.

The project led by Borja brings together a team of faculty and student researchers from universities across the country to study harassment and violent attacks targeting people of Asian descent amid the surge of anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I do the work of addressing injustice as an Asian-American woman as an academic, as a community organizer and activist. But I do so also as a mom,” Melissa Borja told the Indianapolis Star and USA Today in an interview.

Borja was born to Filipino immigrants and is currently a professor at the University of Michigan’s Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies Program. She also advises an Asian American graduate student group on campus.

“I hope that the example I’m setting sets them up for doing and continuing this work in the future,” Borja said about her students and peers.

“As much as I can, I try to center my work on loving other people…But I do approach my work as a scholar, as a community organizer with the commitment that everything I should do should affirm the worth and dignity of other people,” Borja explains.

Borja earned a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University, an MA in history from the University of Chicago, and an AB in history from Harvard University.

USA TODAY released the 2022 edition of its Women of the Year program on March 14. The initiative follows the magazine’s successful Women of the Century project, which highlighted achievements of trailblazing women in the 100 years since they won the right to vote.

Filipino-American tenants’ rights and affordable housing advocate Emily Ann Ramos was recently named the 2022 Woman of the Year for California’s 13th Senate District in the United States.

MEET inspiring Filipinas this International Women’s Month like teen violinist Jeanne Rafaella Marquez, a 2022 Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist and Kohl Scholar at Colburn School’s Music Academy in the United States, young businesswoman Anne Barretto of Hey Pretty Aesthetics, and Indigenous People and women rights advocate, musician Bayang Barrios

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to Filipino-American educator and activist Melissa Borja for being named an honoree for USA Today’s Women of the Year program, a recognition of women across the United States who have made a significant impact.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.