The DC Bar Foundation is fortunate to have a dedicated and passionate staff that works to expand access to justice in the District. One of those staff members is Director of Programs Aracelis Gray, who joined the Foundation in June.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in the Dominican Republic and lived there until the age of 8 when I arrived in New York City (NYC). NYC is my “hometown.”
What brought you to DC?
I came to DC with my political science undergraduate class. I was afforded the opportunity to get to know the City and hold internships in two influential organizations.
What was your first job in DC, and what did you learn?
My first DC job was an internship with the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a policy think tank whose mission is to improve the socioeconomic status and civic engagement of African Americans. My experience at the Joint Center solidified my understanding and appreciation of the role that data and information play in our political and economic systems.
If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
My maternal grandfather
You get one extra hour of free time per day. How do you use it?
Read a book
What was the last restaurant you ate at?
L'Auberge Chez Francois
What is your go-to karaoke song?
One Item from your Bucket List
Wine tour and tasting in Bordeaux
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Who is your role model, and why?
My mother because she is an amazingly strong woman who achieves everything she sets her mind to doing.
You get to paint a mural on the side of the White House. What do you paint?
I would paint a mural of happy children of all ages, sizes, gender, race, and ethnicity because that is what I hope for.
Most rewarding element of your work
The most rewarding element of my work is getting to know our grantee community and the individuals striving to make a difference in the lives of DC residents with low income.
Legal aid is important to me because...
everyone deserves equal access to justice
Your dream for our legal system is...
one that doesn’t operate in a vacuum, with the recognition that holistic, multidisciplinary solutions result in longer-term outcomes