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Dr. Airies Davis, inaugural director of workforce development at Dominican University’s Chicago Campus, is the recipient of a 2024 Egretha Award honoring extraordinary excellence among Black women.

Davis will receive the 2024 Egretha-Entrepreneurial Impact Educational Award during a June 8 event presented by African American Women in Business and Careers (AWBC) Magazine.

The Egretha Awards were created in honor of Egretha Killebrew Hamilton, a nurse born in the early 1900’s who dedicated her life of service to the underserved and often forgotten. The awards recognize the achievements and impact of Chicagoland women who are role models for Black women around the world.

“It’s significant because I’m standing on the shoulders of other women of color who have been recognized in this space for removing systemic barriers,” Davis said. “It also gives me the chance to highlight the impact of the work I’ve done in the education and business sectors and beyond. I’m truly grateful and humbled.”

This is Davis’ second Egretha Award. She was previously presented with the Educational Diversity Impact Award for her work with WorkforceEQi, the equity-based consulting firm she founded to help companies solve multicultural workforce challenges, and with etiKID Academy LLC, which offers character, career and life skills education to underserved communities.

As the director of workforce development at Dominican University’s new Chicago Campus in Pilsen, Davis is shaping and launching four standalone, non-credit certificates that will allow workers to upskill, find new workplace opportunities and build social mobility.

Davis has also taught in Dominican’s Brennan School of Business as an adjunct professor and has served in a mentorship role as an executive in residence, offering students one-on-one career coaching and professional development services.

“We provide realistic, transparent expectations of what it means to prepare for a career in their field of choice and experiential observations of what it looks like for entrance into the real world of work,” she said. “We have transformative coaching-centered conversations that are a safe space for our learners to thrive.”

Davis is the author of a regular column for AWBC Magazine called “The Dr. Airies Report.” In it, she shares insights and perspectives on issues important to professional Black women.

“It gives me a chance to share my lived experiences as a Black woman,” she explained. “I can provide guidance, inspiration in some cases, and full authenticity and transparency about practical insights, tips and techniques to not only enter but advance in the workplace. The article allows space to show how deserving, incredible, and magical we truly are as Black Women. That’s what resonates the most.”