Making Black History

Ken Parker

How He's Making a Difference: 

Assistant United States Attorney, Criminal Chief

Current / Past Place of Employment:

U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Ohio
Law Clerk, Honorable S. Arthur Spiegel, United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio

Years in the Cincinnati region: 




His story:

Kenneth L. Parker is an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) with the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, serving as Chief of the Criminal Division. Parker served also as a judicial clerk for the late Honorable S. Arthur Spiegel, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. He is a graduate of Tuskegee University and the Indiana University School of Law.

Parker has served as president of the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and of the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati. Parker also serves as Chair of the Summer Work Experience in Law program (SWEL) which seeks to increase the number African Americans in the legal profession.  Parker is an alumnus of the 30-year old program and has been instrumental in its expansion to Hamilton, Dayton and Columbus.  He is working to establish SWEL throughout the entire State of Ohio.

Through his work with the Department of Justice (DOJ), Parker believes in maintaining a strong connection to the community.  He works tirelessly to enforce the law as well as support community prevention and intervention strategies that focus on substance abuse, narcotics trafficking, and violence. Parker continues to use his free time to speak to youth at local elementary and high schools, encouraging them to stay away from drugs, crime and other negative behaviors. He firmly believes that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  

Parker is honored and proud to be a husband to Cheryl and father of twins, Lena and Cecilia. His heroes include his parents, Henry and Betty Parker, Charles Hamilton Houston, Esq., A. Philip Randolph, Nelson Mandela, Judge S. Arthur Spiegel, and Harriet Tubman. He is most thankful to God for all his blessings and is grateful that he can share them with others.

Staying energized after a long week of work:

My daughters energize me after a long week of work. They are a burst of energy. They keep me going. They represent the true innocence in life. All of their dreams I carry with me and I dream along with them.

Favorite Cincinnati-unique offering:

The Harriet Beecher Stowe House. It’s a symbol more than anything. That home represents a lot of things. You don’t have the Freedom Center without the Harriet Beecher Stowe House. By recognizing the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, you recognize John Parker and the number of abolitionists who were in the region. You recognize the river and the freedom it represented. 

Advice for emerging African American leaders:

Do not get disenchanted with your goals. Do not expect the road to always be easy. Recognize that you are an emerging leader, so you must lead. Leadership can come from the front, the middle, or from the rear. It’s not about taking credit. It’s about achieving goals and obtaining the mission.

My legacy:

The embodiment of God’s words “well-done”. Regardless of when you get it, everyone needs to have an understanding of their purpose in life. Once you understand your purpose, be a fanatic about it.

Cincinnati as a “future city” is:

I imagine a day when Cincinnati is seen as the gem city of the nation; representing diversity and charm. Cincinnati has a place in the world like no other.

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