Tracye Y. Davis is HFC’s first-ever Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
I n the culmination of a multi-year DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging) evaluation process and a national search for a new DEIB leader, Henry Ford College announces Tracye Y. Davis as its first Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging.
Davis has served the College as Assistant Director of Performance, Development, Engagement, Talent Acquisition, and HRIS since 2021. She transformed the way the College manages talent acquisition, bringing HR best practices, innovation, and DEIB-specific assets that have allowed the College to maximize its appeal to a broad variety of talented professionals. Additional successful initiatives include digitizing HR personnel records, automating HR process workflows, and creating an electronic process documentation system for HR tasks.
Davis created a College-wide ABIDE (Advancing Belonging, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity) Talent Management Strategy that is intended as a part of a larger institutional DEIB strategy that will guide her work as the Executive Director of DEIB.
In her new role, Davis will report to HFC President Russell Kavalhuna. President Kavalhuna understands and values the importance of DEIB leadership as a part of the executive team, with a direct line to his office.
“We are excited to have Tracye take this new role at HFC,” said Kavalhuna. “With her help, we will enhance ongoing efforts at being a welcoming campus that not only understands and values our vibrant diversity, but becomes a leading institution in leveraging our equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts to support our student success mission.”
A wide and varied skill set
Prior to joining HFC, Davis served in numerous leadership roles in higher education, non-profit, and for-profit organizations. She has extensive credentials and leadership competencies across a broad spectrum of skill areas. She has more than 15 specific diversity-related professional development, graduate program credentials and certifications. (Learn more about her background here.)
She also understands that no amount of credentials, experiences, or skills make anyone a true “expert” in all aspects of the multivariate and intersectional world of DEIB. She noted that the College can expect her to be a practitioner who continues to grow and integrate new knowledge, data, and skills to initiate and lead change as a collaborative and responsive leader and resource.
Earlier in her career, she worked as a radio DJ, managed a chain of music stores, and created diversity and inclusion programs for the gaming industry, museums, municipalities, community-based and faith-based organizations, and higher education institutions. Her variety of roles and connections have given her deep perspectives on the varieties of human experience and the ways that multiple aspects of intersectional identity, socioeconomic position, and educational attainment can impact individuals’ opportunities, successes, and relationships.
“Visionary and practical solutions that work for all of us”
Davis knows there is a lot of hard work ahead in this complex and multifaceted role, and she relishes the many challenges and opportunities of what she has called her “dream job.” Among Davis’ goals in her role in HR was to establish Henry Ford College as Michigan’s premier Welcoming College. Her aspirations as Executive Director of DEIB are even more expansive, as she views the diverse assets of the Dearborn, Detroit, and adjacent communities as a perfect environment in which to create a true community of equity, inclusion, and belonging with impact throughout the region and beyond.
“Initiatives to create and sustain workplace cultures that support inclusion, embrace equity, foster belonging, and promote social justice are under attack across the nation, particularly in education where so many opportunity gaps continue to persist,” said Davis. “I am excited that HFC is standing strong in our commitment to DEIB by introducing this new role to the College. I am humbled in knowing that this is not the work of one person. Success will require collaboration between all stakeholders including staff, faculty, administration, our students, and the community. My vision is to start by listening to the voices of the campus community, giving a platform to our concerns, and brainstorming both visionary and practical solutions that work for all of us.”
Davis will begin her new role this fall, while she supports the HR team in its transition to new leadership in her current role.