*Political Strategist, Kenya Parham, daughter of well-known educators, Psychologist Dr. Thomas A. Parham and Davida Hopkins-Parham, is busy making a name for herself.
In college, Parham volunteered on many campaigns while obtaining her education. While playing her role on the campaigns, she would closely watch staff members and ask questions for a better understanding on the different roles these positions entailed. Over time, she found that she enjoyed working closely with the candidate; contributing to their story and putting out fires.
“I was privileged to have an internship that turned into a job with Tavis Smiley and was able to kinda see the intersection of entertainment and politics.”
The consultant has been recognized by The Huffington Post as “an emerging millennial leader to watch.” Throughout out the course of her career Parham has raised over $5 million in funds and registering an 87% win rate with initiatives and electoral campaigns leading local, state, and national candidates, elected officials, and non-profits.
She has also been acknowledged as an Emerging Leader Ambassador of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture along with her completed time as the first National Vice Chair of the Black Caucus of the Young Democrats of America.
“It’s been scary but frustrating. But also exhilarating and exciting to blaze this trail and I’m really fortunate.”
After years of serving as a strategist on various campaigns, Parham has given herself the chance to dream and embark on her own endeavors. She took time to plan a way for her to effectively give back to millennial’s within her community while creating a positive discussion amongst themselves .
Parham recently launched and moderated her first panel discussion Parlay La, which was a concept she came up with to give back to her peers through civic engagement in an urban setting. Because we are currently in a time where opinions and matters are addressed through hashtags and local protests, this event was right on time!
“Parlay by definition means to take your earnings from one bet … your small earnings, leveraging them, to make bigger earnings. But I use it in a term to mean that I think that we need to have a conversation about where are our chips right now, and what are we preparing to do with them to leverage them for greater things.”
In spite of individual opinions, Parham encourages everyone to get involved and engaged in political matters within their own communities. She feels that if they are at least aware of local representatives and participate in activities while getting to know their leaders, it will amount to greater numbers in votes.
“I encourage people to take a second and think about the institutions that exist in their communities and asses if they are touched and tapped into them. If not, figure out what they’re interested in and see if maybe they can step up in a leadership role. If nothing exists, create one.”
Parlay La was of course a HUGE success and formed much needed dialog! Check out some of the responses found via social media.