• Press Release

Georgia State Sen. Nabilah Islam Parkes Nominated for EMILYs List’s Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award

March 13, 2024


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, announced that Georgia state Sen. Nabilah Islam Parkes is a nominee for the 2024 Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award. EMILYs List President Jessica Mackler released the following statement:  

“From abortion rights to LGBTQ+ equality, fighting climate change to protecting democracy, state Sen. Nabilah Islam Parkes has been a critical voice and an impactful leader in her community. She has also been a groundbreaker as the first Muslim woman and youngest member ever elected to Georgia’s state Senate. Georgia is a state in which millions of Americans lack access to their fundamental reproductive freedoms, and pro-choice champions like Islam Parkes are fighting back every day. EMILYs List is honored to nominate her for this award.”

Nabilah Islam Parkes is a Georgia state senator and a lifelong fighter, organizer, and community advocate. She is a first-generation American and the daughter of working-class Bangladeshi immigrants. She grew up attending Gwinnett County public schools in Georgia, and put herself through college at Georgia State University. She went on to be a strong advocate for working families and fought to elect progressive Democrats up and down the ballot. She also worked on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and fundraised for the Democratic National Committee. In 2022, Islam Parkes became the youngest woman and first Muslim woman ever elected to the Georgia state Senate, where she has championed reproductive rights, gun safety, and lowering costs for Georgia families. Islam Parkes was first endorsed by EMILYs List in 2022.

Named in honor of the dedicated and courageous Gabrielle Giffords, the Rising Star Award celebrates an extraordinary woman serving in state or local office. The award honors a woman who demonstrates the sort of commitment to community, dedication to women and families, and determination and civility that have been the highlights of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ career, in and out of office. Previous Rising Star Award recipients include: former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams in 2014; former Boston City Councilwoman, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley in 2015; former Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran in 2016; former Philadelphia City Councilwoman Helen Gym in 2017; Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx in 2018; California Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo in 2019; former Ohio House Minority Leader, U.S. Rep. Emilia Sykes in 2020; Harris County, Texas Judge Lina Hidalgo in 2021; former Georgia state Rep. Bee Nguyen in 2022; and Florida House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell in 2023. 

The Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award winner will be chosen with community input. Online voting will open on Friday, March 15 and can be found here

Nabilah Islam Parkes is nominated alongside:

Laura Terech, Arizona state representative

Sarah Anthony, Michigan state senator

Selena Torres, Nevada state assemblymember

La’Tasha D. Mayes, Pennsylvania state representative

Laschrecse Aird, Virginia state senator

Greta Neubauer, Wisconsin Assembly minority leader

EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, works to elect Democratic pro-choice women up and down the ballot and across the country with a goal of fighting for our rights and our communities. Our work is centered around a fundamental vision: Run. Win. Change the World. EMILYs List has raised $850 million in service to that vision and has helped Democratic women win competitive elections by recruiting and training candidates, supporting and helping build strong campaigns, researching the issues that impact women and families, running one of the largest independent expenditure operations for Democrats, and turning out women voters to the polls. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect the country’s first woman as vice president, 175 women to the House, 26 to the Senate, 20 governors, and over 1,500 women to state and local office. More than 40% of the candidates EMILYs List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. Visit www.emilyslist.org for more information.