For his leadership and advocacy, California State University, Dominguez Hills President Thomas A. Parham will be recognized as the 100 Black Men of Los Angeles’ Man of the Year at their 40th annual gala, which will take place virtually on Oct. 23.
The nonprofit organization, dedicated to improving the quality of life for Blacks and other underrepresented racial groups, will also honor Congresswoman Maxine Waters as their Lifetime Achievement Awardee and LA County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell as Woman of the Year.
“What an honor and privilege to be recognized and celebrated by the 100 Black Men of Los Angeles, along with other consequential and iconic leaders in the Los Angeles and Southern California community,” said Parham. “This honor is humbling.”
In selecting him for this honor, 100 Black Men of Los Angeles noted Parham’s decades of work on behalf of young people and the community at large. The organization called Parham “a prime example of what dedication and hard work is all about. He has touched many lives over the years and continues to make a difference. Dr. Parham goes about his work without asking for fanfare or recognition. As an organization, we are ecstatic to have him as an honoree.”
“Dr. Parham is a generational leader who has a sincere understanding of today’s youth,” added gala co-chair Tommy Davis. “His commitment to shaping society and educating the future leaders of this world must be recognized at all levels.”
Parham has spent nearly four decades in higher education as an educator and administrator. Prior to his tenure as president of CSUDH, he served as vice chancellor for student affairs and an adjunct faculty member at the University of California, Irvine, where he had been since 1985. He is also a scholar and practitioner of psychology in the area of psychological nigrescence, specifically on identity development, African psychology, and multicultural counseling.
He has long maintained a relationship with the 100 Black Men of America organization, helping charter the Orange County chapter in the early 1990s. While serving as chair of the education committee, he helped to develop their signature Passport to the Future program, and is the architect of their Rites of Passage component. From 2002 to 2005, Parham served as president of 100 Black Men of Orange County. He has also served as national chair of education for the 100 Black Men of America.
“In my work as the President of CSUDH, and an actively engaged member of the L.A. community, my goals always coalesce around being a servant leader; being an advocate for my students, staff, and faculty needs; and being a voice of uncompromising clarity on those things that align with justice, fairness, and equity,” added Parham. “I hope this award indicates that I have managed those affairs with integrity and righteous character.”
Previous Man of the Year honorees include then Senator Barack Obama, L.A. Laker Earvin “Magic” Johnson, former L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Bishop Charles Blake, and radio host Tavis Smiley.
The 40th Annual 100 Black Men of Los Angeles Gala will be held virtually on Oct. 23. For more information, please visit www.100bmla.net.