Rolling Out

Melonie Parker’s superpower led to successful tech career

The Google tech executive shares jewels

Melonie Parker is an industry shifter. The Chief Diversity Officer and Employee Engagement at Google has once again let her efforts shine playing a role in opening the new Google Annex Classroom at Morehouse College on May 13.

At the grand opening, Parker spoke to rolling out.

Why are we here at Morehouse College today?

We are very excited about today. We are launching a Google Annex at Morehouse College, [a space] for students to innovate and congregate.

We have provided [a couple] $100,000 worth of resources, including computer technology. It is our hope to help Morehouse men in their pursuits around leadership and entrepreneurship, to give a safe space to come together, innovate and be inspired.

What does it mean to you to work with a company that is so intentional about helping the Black community and students?

It’s so encouraging, and I’m an HBCU alum [from] Hampton University. I lead the Google HBCU President’s Council in partnership with the United Negro College Fund and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Morehouse College is a part of our President’s Council, we welcomed our presidents to Mountain View, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley at the beginning of the year, we will come back together in July. This launch is really just a reflection of the deepened partnership and relationship we have not just with Morehouse but with all of our historically Black colleges and universities.

What advice do you have for young Black professionals who want to progress in tech?

My best advice is to look where you add in, not where you fit in. What [skills] uniquely belong to you? What is your superpower? How do you use that to add to the tech industry? Make sure that whatever the tech industry is doing, your unique superpower makes it all better, and [you can tell] that story.

Hopefully, this space is one part that will help you get inspired to collaborate with other folks as you’re developing and refining what your superpowers are. The world is waiting [for] you.

What is your superpower? 

My superpower is building strong relationships and convening people.

I believe I’ve had such great success because I’ve been able to bring people together to work on deeply-impactful projects to go on journeys that make people’s lives better.

Do you have any special thanks?

I just want to add an incredible thank you and gratitude to Morehouse College, to Dr. David Thomas, to the faculty and the staff for being such incredible partners to help us really pour into the next generation of leaders.

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