Arva Moore Parks - a native Miamian, historian, preservationist and community leader — has authored, co-authored, edited or contributed to more than 20 books and documentaries including the City of Miami's official history: Miami The Magic City. She is president of Arva Parks & Company and Centennial Press. Widely honored for both her activism and writing, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by Barry University and was named an Alumnae of Outstanding Distinction by both the University of Florida and the University of Miami. The State of Florida and City of Miami inducted her into the Women's Hall of Fame and the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce named her the Robert B. Knight Citizen of the Year and gave her the first George Merrick Award of Excellence. In 2008, he Florida Historical Society honored her as the Caroline B. Rossitter "Outstanding Woman in Florida History."
She has spent her adult life helping Miami's diverse communities come together through a shared sense of place. She served on the U.S. Federal Court's Bi-racial-Tri-ethnic Committee for more than 15 years and was active in school integration. Her leadership in the arena of racial, gender and ethnic relations brought her many honors from diverse groups like the Black Archives, Temple Israel, Florida Memorial College, Cuban Women's Club, the Theodore Gibson Fund, the Dade County and City of Miami Commissions on the Status of Women and many more.
She has also received many awards for her leadership in historic preservation including a National Preservation Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Dade Heritage Trust's presented her their highest honor—the Henriette Harris Award and the Florida Trust gave her the Carl Weinhardt award.
She has served on numerous boards and commissions. Nationally, President Clinton appointed her to the Federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and she chaired of the Southern Region of the National Trust for Historic Preservation Board of Advisors. Governor Graham appointed her and she was elected chair of the Governor's Mansion Commission and the Florida Humanities Council. She also served as the first chair of the Vizcaya Trust and is immediate-past chair of the City of Miami Planning Advisory Board. She recently spent 18 months as acting director and chief curator of the new Coral Gables Museum. She now serves as Chair of the Board.