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C-villians You Should Know: Tamara Dias

A glimpse into the daily lives, inspirations, and stories of the leaders, changemakers, and community members who call Charlottesville home

Tamara Dias

Hometown: Richmond, VA

Years lived in Charlottesville: 12

Favorite place in Charlottesville: Mt. Ida

Favorite small business: Pearl Island

Favorite community event: Tom Tom Festival

Educational and professional background

Dias spent five years at the University of Virginia’s School of Education and Human Development, earning her B.A. in Spanish Linguistics, and her M.T. in Foreign Language Education. Before starting as the Executive Director at AATF, she taught in both Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville.

Day to day at AATF

African American Teaching Fellows' mission is to change the education system through the support and development of highly-qualified African American educators. As Executive Director, Dias' is responsible for building relationships with community members and other organizations, leading their fundraising and grant writing efforts, and looking at their vision overall and where they want to go in the future. Like many organizations, Covid-19 changed everything for them. They usually have their professional development and team building conference over the summer, which couldn't happen in person this year, but all of the virtual sessions they've had so far have been great.

Impacting the Charlottesville community

Dias' long-term goal is to eliminate the racial gap that has existed for decades, even if that means AATF would no longer need to exist. Her more immediate goal is to get at least two fellows into every school in the area. One day, she wants to be able to look in Charlottesville and Albemarle schools and see an equal representation of African American teachers and students.

Upcoming event

AATF’s virtual Celebration of Fellows is coming up on Friday, October 16 and is their “first virtual anything.” Dias has been busy trying to reimagine this annual event in a virtual sense, which has been both challenging and eye-opening. Despite all the changes this year has brought, AATF’s “mission is still happening and still necessary.”

Ready for more?

We'll be highlighting a new C-villian in every edition of our Com Com Newsletter!


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