Get to Know: Melanie Roussell, The DNC's Press Secretary
1 year ago
Roussell talks college activism and the importance of diversity.
Since arriving in Washington D.C. eight years ago, Melanie Roussell has held positions as an intern and staff assistant for Rep. William Jefferson, Public Information Director for the New Orleans District Attorney and most recently the Press Secretary for HUD. Now, Roussell is serving as the National Press Secretary for the Democratic National Committee. A native of New Orleans, LA, Roussell received her Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism from Florida A&M University and her M.A. in Public Communication from American University.
How did you get involved in politics?
I was a senior at FAMU, in Tallahassee during the 2000 election and helped coordinate several protests and public events during the recount. As communications director for the Student Government Association, I had been involved in local and state politics before, but the madness of the election and the recount really stoked my interest in national politics and made me want to be actively involved in the political process.
Why is it important for young people to be civic-minded?
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." We all have the power within us to speak up about issues that impact our neighborhoods, our towns and cities, our states, our families, and our nation. And if we have learned anything from the life of Dr. King and President Obama's election, it is that our voices matter, and if we speak up, we can make a difference.
What is it like as a young African-American woman at the forefront of some of the most contentious political debates?