Nancy A. Parker

Executive Director


Nancy is the Executive Director of the Detroit Justice Center. Immediately prior to this, Nancy served as the Managing Attorney of the Movement Lawyering Practice, where she focused on providing legal support to grassroots organizations fighting for racial justice in the city and surrounding communities. Nancy was proudly part of the dedicated legal team that successfully sued the City of Detroit and its police for the unconstitutional civil rights violations that were exacted upon nonviolent protesters fighting for Black lives and police accountability. Nancy also worked in coalition with community partners to organize around ending the city’s use of the expensive and inefficient surveillance technology, ShotSpotter. Nancy has engaged in direct representation of clients in various courts, conducted know-your- rights trainings, presented on prison industrial complex abolition, provided research/analysis, and generally provided any other support needed to move abolitionist campaigns and projects forward.

Nancy joined the Detroit Justice Center from the legal department of the United Steelworkers International Union where she served as Assistant General Counsel for over 8 years. In that capacity, Nancy fought for workers’ rights, advocating for employees and their families in arbitrations, federal courts, and before the National Labor Relations Board. She successfully argued before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to secure benefits for mine workers; obtained numerous reinstatements for wrongfully discharged workers through her motion practice; and conducted trainings on various topics, including civil rights and sexual harassment.

Nancy earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan where she majored in Sociology and minored in African-American and African Studies. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, School of Law in 2011. While in law school, Nancy served as a student attorney in the Civil Justice Clinic–Youth and Family Advocacy Project, representing youth in juvenile justice and child welfare matters. As a law student, she argued before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals resulting in her client’s restoration of custodial rights.