Madeleine  Gravely
Joined Meer in March 2023
Madeleine Gravely

Madeleine Gravely is a 2022 graduate of the University of Virginia located in Charlottesville, Virginia. As an undergraduate, she studied African-American and African Studies in addition to Anthropology. She worked for the Carter G. Woodson Institute at UVA as a Student Researcher, assisting a department member in writing a novel on medical racism and the far-reaching impacts of the American carceral system on women of color.

She has given seminars on diversity and inclusion through her work with various NGOs and published manuals to assist resettled refugee families in the U.S., a cornerstone of her moral pursuits. Her work is underlined by a strong emphasis on equality, mutual aid, and restorative justice.

The process of language acquisition also lies at the heart of her work. After an enlivening first trip to Germany at age 16⁠—supplemented by rigorous coursework, Governor’s School, and subsequent time spent living in Germany—she gained an important global perspective.

Having lived in Paris in 2023 purely for narrative purposes, she practiced French to expand her worldview and linguistic competence further. Though a long way off from fluency, her comprehension of the language continues to grow each day. She savors the pure vulnerability of it all and holds onto those moments of growth.

Mental health is a core topic of much of her writing. After being diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) at the young age of 11, her life and writing shifted toward topics of disorder, recovery, and self-compassion in the face of chronic suffering. Her writing caters to others who have dealt with mental health struggles of their own and encourages personal narrative empowerment.

Her writing runs parallel to her everyday life, and those very things with which she is actively grappling. Writing began as a pastime but has morphed into a spiritual ritual, allowing her to transmute a “mess” into a message. Her articles can be loosely interpreted as doctored journal entries, always mixed with premature wisdom, clarity, and big, existential questions. She hopes that in sharing her personal experiences, she can provide solace and solidarity to others with similar lived experiences.

Madeleine now works as a Creative Director and Designer, specializing in web design and development. In her free time, she crochets various colorful bucket hats, sweaters, and tiny hats for cats. She also plays piano and chess, staple and enduring activities from childhood.

She ultimately hopes that everyone can learn to be less afraid of their big feelings, pursuits, and the general unknown; through facing these things, we can embrace all complex things as we affirm our solidarity and collective power.

Articles by Madeleine Gravely

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