Ira Wade (they/them & he/him) identifies as Southern, Black, queer, neurodivergent and non-binary from Montgomery, Alabama with generational lineages in Demopolis and Union Springs, Alabama. They have lived in the Deep South, the Mid-Atlantic and most recently landed in the Pacific Northwest in 2016. They have worked in higher education as faculty and administration, non profit and government sectors.
As a lifelong learner, they hold a Doctorate in Education with a focus on educational activism in formal and non-formal education from University of Portland, a Masters of Arts in Urban Affairs from Norfolk State University with a focus on career decision making for LGBTQ+ students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as well as a Bachelors in Interpersonal and Public Communications with a minor in Political Science from Mississippi College.
They are currently working on their PhD in Urban Studies at Portland State University focusing on Critical Geography in the context of queer of color and liminal ecologies with a curiosity of exploring new economies, food sovereignty, and the reconceptualization of church and congregation in new world creation from a foundation of Sankofa and spatial manifestation of the queer imaginary. .
They enjoy traveling, attending cultural events across a myriad of genres and artistic mediums and using it to nourish their soul and integrating it into their approach to strategic planning, never-ending learning and knowledge sharing, as well as political education and capacity building with community. They also can’t keep succulents alive but continue to try (kinda).