Crain’s New York Business List Honors Fordham Alumna


Crain’s New York Business published a list of Notable Black Leaders. This year’s list honors Fordham alumna, Marjorie Parker, FCRH ’90. (Courtesy of Twitter)

On Feb. 21, Crain’s New York Business published a list of Notable Black Leaders. This year’s list honors Fordham alumna, Marjorie Parker, FCRH ’90.

Crain’s list highlights Black individuals whose work has improved the quality of life of New York City residents. Honorees are professionals in all industries, from medicine to finance.Crain chooses the individuals that are honored on the list by considering past professional accomplishments.

Parker is the current president and chief executive officer of JobsFirstNYC, a nonprofit that connects young adults to economic opportunities. The nonprofit works as an intermediary between individuals and professional organizations.

First founded in 2006, JobsFirstNYC is specifically targeted towards individuals in the 18-24 age range. Parker first became involved with the organization in 2014 as the deputy executive director. In 2017, Parker was named president and CEO.

Parker said, “JobsFirstNYC was created to respond to the needs of out-of-school and out-of-work young adults. It was created to find, develop and advance solutions to produce better outcomes for both young people and the communities they live in. If things get better for them, things get better for their communities.”

Under Parker’s leadership, JobsFirstNYC has grown. In the 2021-22 fiscal year, JobsFirstNYC reported that more than 1,944 young adults used their services. JobsFirstNYC also established several new partnerships in the year, including one with The New York City Deputy Mayor’s Office of Strategic Initiatives.

JobsFirstNYC works to understand all communities across New York City that young people live in, researching the infrastructure of those communities. Parker said that when considering a community, the organization examines employment rates, education, services offered and average income.

The organization uses this information to mediate conversations with employers.

“We try to have frank conversations with employers about expectations and managing generational differences between workers in the same workplace,” said Parker.

Parker said she is grateful to receive the honor from Crain’s New York Business. In acknowledgement of all the awards that she has received, she said, “I attach it to the work that I do. I see it as a recognition of the work that we do here at JobsFirstNYC. I don’t look at it as a personal accomplishment.”

Parker also spoke fondly of her time at Fordham. Reminiscing on the decision process, Parker said,

“Fordham felt like a place where I would be safe, I would learn and I would make new friends.”
Parker also mentioned the launching of a multicultural club as an important moment during her time at Fordham.

“I met all of these people that I had never met before. It was a really great and dynamic experience. Meeting people from Africa, Saudi Arabia and the Caribbean. Even my roommate was from Ireland,” said Parker.

Parker also highlighted leadership opportunities available at Fordham as important to her growth.

Parker said, “It really shaped my thinking around diversity and religion. There were many opportunities for leadership… I do feel as if my time spent there was instrumental to my [future] leadership and my understanding of how to engage with people who have different cultural upbringings.”