my information

--- Revised August 17, 2012

The Housing Authority of the City of Erie, in partnership with the Urban Erie Community Development Corporation, brought Hollywood actor and role model Nate Parker to Erie to speak to young people at the Blasco Library, Hirt Auditorium, on August 16. (For more on this, see our online version of News & Views on this website.)

Parker spoke to public housing youths and adults about his early struggles as a young man growing up in public housing in Virginia, having his father die at a young age, problems in school, and his struggle to adjust to life with his new stepfather. He spoke about becoming involved in athletics (wrestling) because of the influence of his uncle who he later moved in with him as a teenager.

Thanks to his skills as a wrestler, Parker (High School All-American) was able to attend Penn State University where he again had to overcome personal challenges. This led him to the University of Oklahoma where he earned All-American status and graduated with a degree in computer programming.

Upon graduation, Parker was noticed in 2003 by a talent scout while he was taking his then-girlfriend to Texas to pursue a modeling opportunity. That began what has been a successful career in movies. Parker has appeared with some of today’s biggest stars, Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker and Cuba Gooding, Jr., in movies such as Pride, The Great Debaters and Red Tails where he played the role of a Tuskegee Airman.

Outside of pursuing a growing acting career, Parker has become involved in several community outreach efforts including the Peace4Kids program which provides services to underprivileged children in South Los Angeles. Parker also coaches a wrestling team at Rosemead High School in Los Angeles.

For more information contact John E. Horan, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the City of Erie, at 452-2425 or