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Dr. Damira Grady

She/hers/ ella
Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Support for Inclusive Excellence and Chief Diversity Officer

Damira’s Story

I feel like leadership is trying to position themselves, at UW Oshkosh, to take action and to really ‘walk the talk.’ For the first time in my career, I get to not be that person at the front line trying to get people to understand. I have a seat at the table to have real discussion and made decisions that would influence change on our campus.

I got here by being patient and not really knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up but knowing I wanted to serve. I wanted to be in a position where I did not have to tokenize myself or codeswitch but be authentically myself in everything that I do. That’s how I got here…is by doing just that. Sometimes there were doors shut in my face. Sometimes people were like “you are too much. You are saying all the things that are true, but you can’t say them.” But then I can’t authentically be myself so I continued to say what needed to be said. It’s through that journey of having hardships…experiences of discrimination, experiencing microaggressions and invalidations that got me to where I am today. Remembering that my goal is not to center myself in the work that I do, but to center the most vulnerable person.

Memorable Quotes

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I always say that if I wasn’t a mom, I wouldn’t be grounded in the person that I am. I got pregnant with my first child when I was nineteen and statistically…should I have a Ph.D.? Probably not. But I do.

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My identity is this – I am a minoritized woman. I am majority African American and, until about 2000, I had to claim that I was African American. Now, I can claim others, but I still identify as African American and multiracial. I am a mother of three children: a single mother. I am the sister of an incarcerated black man. I am a mother of a son with a disability. I am a single mom raising two boys in an urban community. That is who I am. I am someone who wants to be an advocate to continue to learn. I am not an expert in anybody else’s experiences other than my own.

Learn More

Dr. Grady’s Bio
ASIE Website

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