For more than 45 years, Carrie Sinkler-Parker has provided a strong, determined voice for South Carolinians in need, those who often cannot speak for themselves and who come from all age groups.
Following a brief teaching career in Ellerbe, North Carolina and Martinsville, Virginia, Sinkler-Parker returned to her native Clarendon County, South Carolina and began a new career in the child and adult protective services division of the South Carolina Department of Public Welfare.
In 2001, she left state government to become the AARP’s associate state director, organizing the Grandparent/Kinship Caregiver Network in South Carolina, which provides structure to alternative care options for children who leave their birth parents to live with relatives. Sinkler-Parker is currently serving as a consumer health care advocate, informing the public about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.
Because of her expertise in human services issues, Sinkler-Parker has served on a variety of boards and commissions, including the local and state Foster Care Review Board, and the boards of South Carolina Adult Day Services, National Adult Day Services Association, National Council on Aging, International Federation on Aging, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Long-term Care Advisory Committee. She was a 1995 Delegate to the White House Conference on Aging.
Sinkler-Parker holds a bachelor’s degree from Barber-Scotia College and a master’s degree in public health administration from the University of South Carolina. She also holds a graduate certificate in gerontology.
In 1983, Barber-Scotia College named Sinkler-Parker National Alumnus of the Year. In 1996, the African American Women’s Conference honored her with the Mary McLeod Bethune Perseverance, Achievement and Charity Award. In 2014, Sumter County Council named Sinkler-Parker one of its Women of Excellence, and she is a life member of the National Council of Negro Women.
Sinkler-Parker and her husband, Alphonzo, and four children and three grandchildren.