Rodericka Applewhaite: Meet The Lady Bridging The Gap Between Black Americans And The Oval Office

by Gee NY

Rodericka Applewhaite is on a mission to bridge the gap between Black Americans and the decisions emerging from the Oval Office that directly impact their communities.

Having assumed the role as the White House Director of Black Media in November, Applewhaite is leveraging her extensive experience in communications and research, gained from working on gubernatorial and senate campaigns, to ensure a direct connection between the Black community and key policy decisions.

As a first-generation American with Panamanian and Guyanese roots, Applewhaite’s upbringing in Carrollton, Georgia, instilled in her an early awareness of the social and political disenfranchisement experienced by neglected communities.

This awareness fueled her passion for a political career dedicated to promoting equitable policies. After graduating from George Washington University in 2015 with a degree in political science, she embarked on internships and community service initiatives, laying the foundation for her subsequent roles in advocacy organizations and down-ballot races.

Applewhaite, recently the director of Public Affairs at SKDK, now holds the pivotal position of White House Director of Black Media, a role established in 2009 during Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign.

In her current role under the Biden administration, Applewhaite aims to uphold the legacy of the position by championing diversity and representing a broad spectrum of perspectives in policy discussions.

According to a report by The Atlanta Black Star, she hopes to use the new role to empower individuals to leverage their diverse backgrounds in shaping impactful policies.

Her responsibilities include direct liaison with the Black press and efforts to diversify the narratives around Black communities while strengthening relationships with Black-owned and -led news outlets.

Applewhaite’s primary focus is on conveying the impact of policies originating from the White House on Black Americans, showcasing President Biden’s commitment to uplifting the community in every decision.

In addressing core issues affecting Black communities, such as police brutality and voter suppression, Applewhaite highlights President Biden’s executive actions.

Despite the failure of the George Floyd Policing Act, an executive order was signed to establish a national registry of officers fired for misconduct.

The order also mandates federal law enforcement agencies to implement measures like banning chokeholds, restricting no-knock warrants, and enhancing use-of-force policies.

On the electoral front, President Biden has signed the Electoral Count Reform Act and issued an executive order to promote access to voting through an all-of-government approach.

However, Applewhaite acknowledges the importance of passing legislation like the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement and the Freedom to Vote Act to address voter suppression comprehensively.

As she navigates her role, Applewhaite envisions creating closer ties between Biden administration officials and Black news platforms.

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