Editor’s Note: Read the Spanish version of this story here.
Ashley Grice became the new Pride Resource Center director at Colorado State University in June after completing her doctorate in social and comparative analysis in education at the University of Pittsburgh. Grice is returning to CSU after working as a residence director from 2012-15.
According to Grice, the community and connection at CSU, specifically the Pride Resource Center, are energizing.
“It’s a whole vibe,” Grice said. “It’s amazing to see not just students but also faculty and staff across the institution find a sense of belonging and ‘home’ with the PRC.”
When asked what it meant to Grice to be the new director of the Pride Resource Center, she described how amazing of an opportunity it has been.
“My role as the director within the PRC means a lot to me,” Grice said. “It is an opportunity for me to live out my own truth in both my personal and professional life as well as being accountable to my own standards/expectations and my own sense of responsibility that I have for the communities that I’m a part of and serve through my work.”
As far as everything Grice hopes to accomplish in this position, the list is long and solidifies her commitment to the LGBTQ+ community and CSU’s role in making the student experience better.
“LGBTQ+ spaces tend to be very homogenous and center whiteness in ways that I know have been historically harmful to our Black, Indigenous and people of color communities, so as someone who identifies as a Black, queer, masculine-expressive womxn, it is so critical for me to show up in this space with my various intersections at the forefront of my work,” Grice said.
The Pride Resource Center welcomes and invites all of our CSU community to connect, learn and engage in whatever way feels authentic and adds to our mission of shifting our culture that elevates liberation and thriving of our LGBTQ+ community across intersections.” -Ashley Grice, Director of the Pride Resource Center
Grice’s ultimate goal would be an overall campus cultural shift in terms of how LGBTQ+ community members are validated in their existence on campus and within Fort Collins. This is not just about sexual or gender identities but the ways everyone’s identities intersect, especially for those who have to navigate racialized minoritization in conjunction with LGBTQ+ identities, she said.
In addition to her work toward shifting campus and city culture for the better, Grice said, “As this work and as my community continues to evolve, I will always strive for my role to advocate for all the ways in which our LGBTQ+ community intersects across every aspect and context of campus — centering our student experiences as well as elevating the ways in which our LGBTQ+ staff and faculty also engage and have to navigate some of the cultural and systemic barriers also impacting their experiences.”
She said her hope is also to authentically center joy in her work and have this be foundational to the programs and initiatives that come out of the PRC. Grice said that far too often are people combating various cultural, systemic and institutional attacks as a community, so by centering joy, it’s an opportunity to uplift people at and across intersections and continue to advocate for the critical and necessary cultural shifts both on- and off-campus.
Grice begins her time as the Pride Resource Center director by turning to the CSU students and has described that she has been learning students just want to “exist in all of their authenticity without the unnecessary burdens created institutionally, culturally, socially and beyond.”
“The Pride Resource Center welcomes and invites all of our CSU community to connect, learn and engage in whatever way feels authentic and adds to our mission of shifting our culture that elevates liberation and thriving of our LGBTQ+ community across intersections,” Grice said.
For more information or contact information for the Pride Resource Center staff and students, see the Pride Resource Center webpage. The PRC is located in the Lory Student Center in room 232.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated Aug. 26 to correct information about Ashely Grice. She received her doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh, not Carnegie Mellon University.
Molly O’Shea can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Molly_O23.