Award-winning actor, producer, businesswoman and philanthropist Sarah Jessica Parker will be this year’s speaker for the Class Day ceremonies at Harvard Law School. Class Day will take place on Wednesday, May 25, 2016.
The Class Marshals of the HLS Class of 2016 selected Parker based on her combined roles as an actor, humanist, and public servant. Best known for her role as Carrie Bradshaw on the HBO television series “Sex and the City,” Parker has engaged in extensive and wide ranging human rights and philanthropic work.
In November 2009, the Obama administration selected Parker to be a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. As an appointed artist, she has partnered with schools in Oregon and Minnesota for The Turnaround Arts Initiative, a group that uses arts education as a tool to help turn around high-priority, struggling schools. Prior to this, she worked alongside former Mayor Bloomberg to raise money for New York City public schools.
Parker serves as a UNICEF Ambassador, with past efforts focused on the fight against HIV, as well as raising funds and awareness for programs including “Trick or Treat for UNICEF” and “UNICEF’s School in a Box”. She has also been involved in various domestic and international UNICEF initiatives since she was appointed in 1997. Additionally, Parker has worked with amfAR to support their AIDS research and education. Parker has been a public advocate of LGBT equality as well as shown her support for initiatives created to help veterans returning home from combat and their families.
Parker currently serves as a vice chairman of the Board of Directors for the New York City Ballet.
Appearing in the HBO series Sex and the City from 1998-2004, Parker has won four Golden Globe Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and two Emmy Awards. Parker reprised her role and served as a producer for the screen adaptation of the hit series with the theatrical release of “Sex and the City” and “Sex and the City 2.” Past film credits include: “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” “Smart People,” “Failure to Launch,” “The Family Stone,” “State and Main,” “Mars Attacks!,” “Ed Wood,” “The First Wives Club,” “Miami Rhapsody“and “Honeymoon in Vegas.”
She has worked in the theatre, on and off Broadway, since 1976 when she debuted on Broadway in “The Innocents” directed by Harold Pinter. Other Broadway credits include: the title role in “Annie”, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” and “Once Upon a Mattress.” Off-Broadway credits include: the original production of “To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday” and “The Commons of Pensacola.”
In 2014, Parker launched her namesake fashion label, SJP. Parker designed this collection of shoes and handbags in association with George Malkemus III.
Parker will return to HBO later this year in the new television series Divorce, in which she stars and serves as an executive producer.