You want to get to know her because:
- Melvina oversees ERA’s various legal initiatives, including impact litigation and initiatives creating pathways for women of color into higher wage jobs.
- For more than 15 years, as the leader at multiple nonprofits and a political appointee in President Obama’s administration, Melvina has led efforts to advance equity and economic justice for marginalized communities.
- Prior to joining ERA, Melvina served as the Interim Chief Legal Officer at the Southern Poverty Law Center, where she oversaw litigation strategy and operations for a legal department and was charged with seeking justice for marginalized communities in the South. Her portfolio covered voting rights, criminal justice reform, children’s rights, LGBTQ+ discrimination, economic justice, and more. She managed a team of 90+ staff, including attorneys in five states litigating cases on issues of criminal justice reform, voting rights, hate and extremism, economic justice, immigrants’ rights, and education issues.
- Melvina also served as a political appointee in President Obama’s administration at the U.S. Department of Labor, providing counsel on enforcement and regulatory issues for the Wage and Hour Division, where she focused on the strategic enforcement of wage and hour laws. She also temporarily served as Acting for the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, where she advised the Acting Secretary on policy and oversaw the development of the Department’s full regulatory agenda.
- Melvina has run multiple nonprofit organizations. Most recently, she was the Executive Director of the Equal Rights Center (ERC), a national nonprofit that conducts testing investigations to uncover unlawful and unfair discrimination in housing, employment, and access to public accommodations. Melvina also served as the Executive Director of the D.C. Employment Justice Center, combining direct legal services with policy advocacy and community organizing to secure, protect, and promote workplace justice in the D.C. metro area.
- In 2019, the Maryland Daily Record named Melvina one of the Top 100 Women.
- Georgetown University Law Center, J.D.
- University of California, Berkeley, B.A.
Outside of work:
- Melvina acts as team admin for all her son’s team sports