Mariah Parker, PhD, is a linguist, Athens-Clarke County (Georgia) Commissioner, community organizer, abolitionist, and rapper.
They were part of a new wave of young people of color who have entered politics in recent years. They first made headlines after being sworn in as an Athens-Clarke County Commissioner, at age 26, with a their hand on a copy of The Autobiography of Malcolm X held by their mother. Photos of Mariah taking the oath went viral, highlighting the growing numbers of millennial Black people making their voices heard in local politics nationwide. As County Commissioner, Mariah is focusing on creating economic stability and racial justice as well as criminal justice reform and raising the minimum wage.
Mariah holds a PhD in linguistics from the University of Georgia where they are a graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Language and Literacy Education, as well as a community organizer dedicated to transformative politics and civic engagement.
Under the stage name Linqua Franqa, Mariah is also openly queer, hip hop artist. They recently gained local and national attention following the release of their labor movement anthem, “Wurk” and their sophomore album, "Bellringer," that targets issues like racial justice and worker’s rights, along with Mariah’s own experiences with mental health.
Mariah's outspoken commitment to racial and economic justice has garnered the attention of CNN, The New York Times, Teen Vogue, National Public Radio, Al Jazeera, The Nation, Afropunk, The Root, The Bitter Southerner, Performer Magazine among others. Their electrifying live performances and presentations call audiences to self-reflection and critical action in their lives and their communities.
Mariah is also co-host of Waiting on Reparations, a show on iHeartRadio about Hip Hop and politics where they explore the history of public policy and its impacts on Hip Hop life; what Hip Hop culture tells us about our political reality; and the role of Hip Hop in shaping our political future.