Juli Parker chosen for YWCA Yvonne M. Drayton Award for leadership and community activism
During the YWCA’s 12th Annual Women of Distinction Awards Event, held via zoom, UMass Dartmouth’s Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Juli Parker was honored with the YWCA Yvonne M. Drayton Award. Parker is the outgoing President of the YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts Board of Directors.
Parker was selected for the prestigious award due to her staunch leadership of the YWCA Board of Directors, continuous community advocacy, volunteerism, and dedication to the YWCA, its Mission, and programs. The Yvonne M. Drayton Award is named for the former YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts Executive Director, who retired in 2007 after seventeen years of service to the organization.
“I was surprised, honored, and humbled to be chosen for this special award,” said Parker. “The seven years serving on the YWCA Board and the two years I served as President were some of my proudest moments in leadership to date. The mission to eliminate racism and empower women rings true to my very core.
Each year, the YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts recognizes outstanding women in the SouthCoast region for their accomplishments that reflect the YWCA's mission of eliminating racism and empowering women during the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards. These individuals are recognized for their exceptional commitment to improving the lives of women, girls, and people of color through their leadership, advocacy, and community service while achieving success in their career fields.
“Her leadership, passion, and dedication to the YWCA and our Mission of eliminating racism and empowering women is unwavering,” said Gail Fortes, Executive Director of YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts.
During her tenure with the YWCA, Parker, who also serves as the Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Center for Women, Gender & Sexuality, accomplished long-lasting changes within the organization and surrounding community. Parker started a development committee that increased board giving by more than 100%, a marketing committee, and social justice/advocacy committee. Parker helped reorganize services as part of the “Under One Roof project”, which brought childcare and adult programs under one roof, and helped finish a strategic plan to expand the YWCA’s footprint into Fall River and Taunton.
“I would not be the feminist advocate that I am without the women who have mentored me and been part of my sisterhood. Thank you to the women who came before me and who have supported me throughout my career,” said Parker.
Also honored with Women of Distinction awards were Melissa Costa (‘96), Zoe Hansen-DiBello (‘18).