The Arc of the South Shore CEO Abigail Parrilla Moderates Panel Discussion At DEIB Day Hosted By Leadership South Shore Program

Abigail Parrilla, CEO of The Arc of the South Shore, a family-oriented, community-based non-profit providing information, referrals, and community programs for individuals with disabilities, served as moderator of a panel discussion on “The Changing Landscape of DEIB” during the recent Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Day (DEIB) held at Bridgewater State University.

The day-long event was hosted by Leadership South Shore, a program of South Shore Bank and the South Shore Chamber of Commerce. The DEIB Day program, now in its fourth year, was sprung from a discussion among Parrilla and cohort members of Leadership South Shore, all of whom have been integral in coordinating the now annual DEIB Day program. Parrilla is a Leadership South Shore alum and Steering Committee member.

Parrilla facilitated the two-hour panel discussion, “The Changing Landscape of DEIB,” during the February 14th event. Christina Bryant, CAO, St. Mary’s Center for Women & Children; Lisa Drennan, Founder, MERGE Inclusion Consulting; Ciara Gogan, Senior Manager, DEIB, CarGurus; and Jazzmyn Rodrigues, Director for Equity at Bridgewater State University participated in the engaging and thoughtful panel discussion.

Speakers at the DEIB Day included Yolani Gonell, AVP, Division of Student Success, Equity & Diversity at Bridgewater State University, who led an interactive session on Racial Equity, and Ciara Gogan, who facilitated a workshop on DEIB Fundamentals.

“It was an honor to participate in and moderate this moving panel discussion on the shifting dynamics of DEIB,” said Parrilla.  “These conversations are so important, and it’s great to see so much interaction and interest from members of the Leadership South Shore cohort.”

Parrilla serves as Chair of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee at The Arc of the South Shore, a role she fills as the nonprofit’s CEO to underscore the importance of DEIB and how it is woven into the very fabric of the organization.

The Leadership South Shore program selects participants from a pool of applicants and leads them through a yearlong immersive learning curriculum, resulting in a group of individuals who are committed to transformative leadership in the community.

About The Arc of the South Shore, Inc.
The Arc of the South Shore (The Arc) was founded in 1951 when a group of individuals created a school for children with disabilities. Then, in 1967, The Arc was deeded property at Webb State Park in Weymouth; the space gave the agency a permanent home and the opportunity to expand. By the end of the 1980s, The Arc became a multi-service agency. Today, The Arc is a family-oriented, community-based non-profit providing information, referrals, and community programs for individuals with disabilities.

These services include an Autism Resource Center, early intervention program, community supports, employment services, day supports and habilitation programs, in-home care, and residential services. All of their programs are based on their six core values of people first, community, transparency, self-determination, diversity, and respect. The Arc serves participants from communities throughout the South Shore, including Abington, Milton, Quincy, Randolph, Braintree, Weymouth, Hingham, Hull, Cohasset, Scituate, and Norwell. Through their 72-year history, they have helped more than 100,000 people.