Melissa Jackson Advocates for Equitable Education in Columbia, South Carolina
A volunteer at heart and an educator by trade, Melissa Jackson was looking for ways to improve her community through effective action and meet like-minded women when she joined the Junior League of Savannah. She found so much more.
As the Campus President for Southeastern College in Columbia, SC, Jackson says she has “always been passionate about education and improving access to quality education.” These ideals made her a perfect fit for her League’s Public Affairs Committee. Through her work on the Public Affairs Committee, Jackson saw “how true change comes from policy change and advocacy.” The committee opened her eyes to a new way of serving her community and introduced her to skills she continues to use as she supports candidates and initiatives in a local political party group. This newfound knowledge, combined with Jackson’s passion for equitable education, helped shape her mission as an education advocate. She has used her talents to work with several volunteer organizations as a reading partner and a mentor helping high school students prepare for college.
Jackson’s passion for advocacy has been recognized not only by her community but also by her fellow Junior League Members. Currently a Sustaining Member of the Junior League of Columbia, she has held a variety of leadership roles including Community VP, President-Elect, and the President of the Junior League of Savannah. As the first Black President of her League, Jackson prioritized including more women of diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds in leadership positions. She hopes she inspired other women of color to consider joining The Junior League. “Just last year, when I was visiting a friend in Savannah, a black woman approached me and said she felt comfortable joining the League because of the efforts she saw me making,” Jackson said. Interactions like this continue to prove that representation matters.