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Minyon Moore

Public affairs director Minyon Moore was born on May 16, 1958 in Chicago, Illinois to Sandra Moore Jones. In 1976, she graduated from Chicago Vocational High School. While working as assistant to the vice president of advertising at Encyclopedia Britannica, Moore attended the University of Illinois at Chicago at night, earning her B.S. degree in sociology in 1982.

Upon graduation, Moore was hired as an assistant to Operation PUSH’s co-founder, Reverend Willie Barrow. In 1988, she served as the deputy field director for Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Presidential Campaign and in 1989, she became development director for Jackson’s National Rainbow Coalition. Moore then served in multiple capacities with the Democratic National Committee, including as director of constituent outreach and also as their first African American female political director, to which she was appointed in 1995. In 1997, during the second Clinton administration, she was named deputy to White House political director Craig Smith, and subsequently became the director of the White House Office of Public Liaison, where she served as the Administration’s principal intermediary to non-government organizations and constituencies. Moore was then appointed director of White House political affairs and assistant to President Bill Clinton. In this capacity, she served as principal political advisor to the president, vice president, first lady, and senior White House staff. Moore was the first African American woman in these two directing roles. In 2000, Moore became the chief operating officer for the Democratic National Committee. She left the DNC in 2002 and joined The Dewey Square Group, a premier Democratic public affairs firm. At DSG, Moore heads its state and local affairs practices. She also a cofounded the first national African American women’s political action committee called Women Building for the Future / The Future PAC, in 2003. In 2004, Moore helped run Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry’s minority outreach program. She then served as a senior advisor in Hillary Clinton’s 2008 and 2016 presidential campaigns. Moore also coauthored For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics, in 2018.

Moore has won numerous awards throughout her career, including being named in the 100 Most Powerful Women in Washington by Washingtonian magazine in 2001, the 2011 Spirit of Democracy award from the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, the Most Influential Leader award presented by Rainbow Push in 2014, the American Association of Political Consultants’ Lifetime Achievement Award and Hall of Fame inductee in 2018, and the 2019 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary work in nonfiction for the book, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics, coauthored with Donna Brazile, Yolanda Caraway, and Leah Daughtry.

Moore has been active on various boards and resides in Washington D.C.

Minyon Moore was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 25, 2019.

Accession Number

A2004.187

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/30/2004

9/30/2004 |and| 9/25/2019

Last Name

Moore

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Schools

John P. Altgeld Elementary School

Chicago Vocational Career Academy

University of Illinois at Chicago

Boston University

First Name

Minyon

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

MOO05

Favorite Season

Fall and Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Nassau, Bahamas

Favorite Quote

I Must Tell You and In All Due Respect

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

5/16/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Corn

Short Description

Public affairs director Minyon Moore (1958- ) was the first African American woman political director for the Democratic National Committee before becoming the first African American woman to serve as director of the White House Office of Public Liaison and director of White House Public Affairs under President Bill Clinton.

Employment

Encyclopaedia Britannica

Rainbow/PUSH

Operation PUSH

Jesse Jackson Presidential Campaign

President Bill Clinton Administration

The National Rainbow Coalition

Dukakis/Bensten Presidential Campaign

Democratic National Committee

Dewey Square Group

Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Minyon Moore interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Minyon Moore's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Minyon Moore describes her mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Minyon Moore describes her father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Minyon Moore discusses her ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Minyon Moore remembers her grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Minyon Moore shares memories from her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Minyon Moore talks about going to church as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Minyon Moore briefly discusses the close-knit friendships in her community

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Minyon Moore names her siblings and discusses the death of her brother

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Minyon Moore describes her childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Minyon Moore describes her childhood neighborhood on Chicago's South Side

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Minyon Moore remembers her experiences in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Minyon Moore talks about her personality and friendships as a pre-teen

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Minyon Moore describes her high school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Minyon Moore talks about jobs she held during high school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Minyon Moore briefly talks about her college aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Minyon Moore talks about taking time off between high school and college

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Minyon Moore describes her college experience

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Minyon Moore discusses her time working for Operation PUSH

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Minyon Moore talks about working on Rev. Jesse Jackson's 1988 Presidential campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Minyon Moore describes her reaction to Rev. Jesse Jackson's loss in the 1988 Presidential election

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Minyon Moore discusses her transition from Chicago to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Minyon Moore describes the political climate in Washington, D.C., in the late 1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Minyon Moore discusses her time working for the Rainbow Coalition

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

10$3

DATitle
Minyon Moore talks about working on Rev. Jesse Jackson's 1988 Presidential campaign
Minyon Moore describes the political climate in Washington, D.C., in the late 1980s
Transcript
Let's talk a little bit about your activities with Reverend [Jesse] Jackson's [U.S.] Presidential campaign.$$Um-hmm. I did the '88 [1988] campaign. And I was kind of--in 1984, I was kind of on the sidelines a little bit. Just doing some youth stuff, youth activities. But I was really very involved in the '88 [1988] campaign.$$In '84 [1984] were you thinking--were you kind of like taking mental notes that when this happened again, you know, you'd be in the mix?$$Well I didn't think of it that way. Interestingly enough, it kind of went full circle from what Mrs. McPherson [at Chicago Vocational High School, later Chicago Vocational Career Academy, Chicago, Illinois] had taught us about who we were as a people and what this meant. So historically, I actually understood the significance of what was going on. I didn't see it in the terms of my life, you know. I just saw it in terms of our life. And I was very proud. Even as a youngster, I was incredibly proud to see this happening and you know couldn't wait to you know--I'd say to myself, "Oh, can't catch that vote." I was casting the vote thing at that time, so--and then I actually didn't get involved until I went to [Operation] PUSH [People United to Serve Humanity] and worked, you know. And that's when I got involved in the campaign itself.$$So you moved to Washington [D.C.] around--$$'89 [1989].$$1989?$$Um-hmm.$$After the '88 [1988] campaign?$$Right.$$So can you tell us a little bit about your involvement in the 1988 campaign?$$I was Deputy Field Director.$$And what did your responsibilities include as a Deputy Field Director?$$Mainly organizing the states that he was running in, you know. Going to the various states, making sure that the field operation was in place, that you were actually you know alerting people to his you know, arrival. Kind of helping with the ground activities and making sure that people had enough information about who he was and what he stood for and--um hum.$$And you traveled all over the country?$$Um-hmm. Went to Texas, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania.$And what was the political climate like in Washington, D.C. in the late '80s [1980s]? What was the political climate like?$$It was invigorating, it was good. I mean you know, we felt like you know, the things that had happened with both [Jesse] Jackson's 1988 campaign--1984 and 1988 campaign had opened the door to a whole new revolution of politicians, you know, elected officials. People were, you know, bold and they were out there running for office and--so it brought in--it ushered in a whole new generation of congressional members. So I mean I think our politics were alive and well and you know--we were feeling empowered and like, "You know hey, this is our country too." So that's kind of where it was, um-hmm.$$But with the Republican [political party] White House, was the climate any different at all?$$This is who you know we're used to having in the White House. You know, when you're from the Movement, you know, it's never about the house, the White House or you know who's empowered. It's about what you are standing for and what you continue to stand for regardless of parties. And our missions were always more morally-centered. They were not politically-centered. And so I think that gave us you know the upper hand to not have to figure out whether it's a Democrat [political party] or Republican, even though it's become a little bit more clearly defined now, but back then you were on a moral mission and you--whether it was [Ronald] Reagan, [George] Bush or whoever was in office, your message was always the same, you know. Our African Americans and people of color need to have better wages, better jobs, you know. Women need to be--have equal work for equal pay.