There are several constants in Angela Davis’ life — her dedication to Temple University, her alma mater; her desire to champion diversity and eliminate barriers to inclusion; and her support of underserved populations in and around the Philadelphia region. These constants have made her a true leader in actively working toward racial equity within the university community and beyond.
“When I had the opportunity to return to Temple — an institution where so many genuinely good things happened to me — I knew I had to help provide resources for people that might not otherwise have access to everything that the University has to offer,” said Davis, Assistant Dean of Development for University College at Temple. “When I was a student at Temple, for me accessibility was key — I could attend classes at Temple and work at a job at the same time. I came to Temple through the Russell Conwell program, which gave me the guidance and support I needed to succeed.”
Davis has been recognized for her demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion. Earlier this year she was awarded the Charles A. Wright Opportunity and Inclusion Leadership Award by the Council for Advancement and Support Education (CASE) District II. As Assistant Dean of Development for University College, Davis’ responsibilities include Temple University Ambler, Harrisburg and Center City campuses, Summer and Special Programs, Digital Education, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), the Real Estate Institute and ProRanger Philadelphia.
Davis said she felt “honored and humbled to be selected for the inaugural Charles A. Wright Award.” According to CASE, “she has been a role model, a tireless advocate and a relationship-facilitator for hundreds of African-American, LatinX and LGBTQ advancement professionals.”
The criteria for the Charles A. Wright Opportunity and Inclusion Leadership Award was “a demonstrated and sustained passion for the advancement of diversity; demonstrated and sustained contribution to increasing diversity within their institution and community; commitment to the progression, career advancement and promotion of diverse, new leaders in the profession and achievements in support of diversity plan goals and/or demonstrated diversity improvement effort,” according to CASE.
“Temple is well-known for its diversity; it’s known for promoting inclusion and opening up opportunities for underserved communities and populations, as all universities should,” said Davis, a Temple alumnus from a family of alumni — her mother and son are also Temple Owls. “This is particularly important in advancement — we need to break any stereotypes suggesting that African Americans typically don’t give back to universities.”
At Temple, Davis said, a primary focus for her is finding donors and organizations interested in furthering the University’s mission and goals while also fostering diversity and access to opportunity.
During an earlier assignment with Temple’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine, she helped donors establish a $50,000 endowment supporting the Office of Health, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. The endowment provides scholarships to students historically underrepresented in medicine.
This year, Davis worked closely with leadership within University College at Temple and the Southwest Belmont Community Association, Inc. to establish a $50,000 endowment to fund community programs for low-income children and students in pre-K through 12th grade in the Philadelphia region.
“Through this special partnership, we want to create experiences for students that have resonance, that will stay with the children who participate in them and, hopefully, empower them to effect positive change for themselves and for the communities in which they live,” she said.