Journalism has always been in Melanie's blood. She started first as a full-time general assignments reporter at Channel 13, then went on to become the co-anchor of Live at 5 and Channel 13's midday show, Eyewitness News at 11am. Melanie also hosts a weekly Community Affairs program called "Crossroads", focusing on issues and events around our city.
Melanie has had a varied and exhilarating stint at Channel 13. She has covered virtually every city, state and national election during her career. She has traveled to Cuba, Panama and Africa, among other places. She's won numerous awards for her reporting, including an Emmy for her coverage of President Clinton's visit to South Africa, the only local reporter in the nation to make that trip. And Melanie has interviewed a wide range of notables, including three U.S. Presidents, Henry Kissinger, the Dalai Lama, poet Maya Angelou, Grammy Award winners Destiny's Child, former heavyweight champion boxer George Foreman, director Spike Lee, legendary journalist Barbara Walters, evangelists Joel and Victoria Osteen, Hall of Famer Magic Johnson and actors Lily Tomlin, Shirley McLaine and Denzel Washington.
But Melanie's favorite stories are those about Houston's rich, multi-ethnic community - especially stories about children and those quietly working to make a difference in their lives.
Melanie's involvement in the Houston community is far reaching. She is on the board of numerous community organizations including the Houston Ballet, SHAPE Community Center, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Volunteer Houston, and the Houston Association of Black Journalists. She also belongs to the Houston Chapter of the Links, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and the American Leadership Forum.
She is also a member of the Texas Lone Star Chapter of Emmys and Women in Film and Television. Melanie has also been honored as the YWCA's "Outstanding Women of the Year", a "Women of Distinction" by the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, and the Ben and Julie Rogers Ecumenism Award from the Anti-Defamation League.
She received her undergraduate degree in Politics from Princeton University and a joint degree in Law and Journalism from Columbia University. Melanie worked at a Wall Street law firm for three years before returning to Houston. She is admitted to both the Texas and New York State Bars.
Last, but certainly not least, she is a proud member of the church founded by her parents, Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church.
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The mayor has been in public office for twelve years, but it wasn't until she was elected mayor that most Houstonians first saw her family
The movie "Selma," released earlier this year, showed audiences a part of civil rights history that many did not know. But Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Fiorenza of the Galveston-Houston Diocese lived that history, answering Martin Luther King's call to come to Selma, Alabama. He says, "I remember there were clergy from all over, people from all over."