Ashley Parker
Year
2019
Chapter
Position
The Project of Primary Health Care, HIV Prevention Specialist

Ashley Parker is a HIV Prevention Specialist with The Project of Primary Health Care, a Ryan White program within a non-profit community health center providing prevention, medical and supportive services for people living with HIV and for those at risk for a HIV infection. In her role, Ashley provides free HIV/STI testing, risk reduction counseling, sexual health education and community outreach throughout Central Iowa with an emphasis on compassionate, sex-positive and culturally competent care.

After spending several years in the for-profit corporate sector, Ashley had enough of putting profits before people and decided to go back to school for social work, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2016. While finishing her undergrad, Ashley worked for Community NeuroRehab of Iowa, providing direct rehabilitative care and behavioral interventions for people living with traumatic brain injuries.

Ashley has always had an interest in activism and politics and has volunteered on campaigns during presidential and midterm elections. Through her social work program, Ashley learned she could morph her love of helping people with her passion for advocacy, social justice and politics and interned with Planned Parenthood of the Heartland in 2016 in their public affairs department, working alongside their organizers to build support around women’s rights and reproductive health care.

After graduation, Ashley worked as the online organizer with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, a grassroots people-powered organizing group working on a wide variety of issues such as racial justice, clean water, Medicare for All and raising the minimum wage which she is still an active member of today.

Ashley is currently pursuing her master’s degree in social work through the University of Iowa’s distance education program with an emphasis on macro community practice and policy. Ashley hopes to create progressive systemic level change to ensure all Iowans have access to their fundamental rights and basic needs. In her free time, Ashley enjoys watching, learning and performing improv comedy, singing karaoke and taking long road trips with her friends.