May 26, 2017

Black El Paso Living Legend – Ouisa Davis

Ouisa DavisHonoring those who continue to serve others in their home, workplace, community

Ouisa D. Davis is a native El Pasoan, a graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso and the University Of Denver College Of Law. Licensed to practice law in the State of Texas since 1991, she was an Assistant County Attorney in El Paso from 1993 to 1997, focusing on domestic violence prevention, mental health, and protection of children, elders and the disabled. For 8 years thereafter, she served as attorney and Executive Director of Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services, Inc., an immigration legal aid clinic serving indigent and low income immigrant families within the Catholic Diocese of El Paso. She also served as an associate judge with the El Paso Municipal Courts, the first African-American woman to serve in the El Paso courts. In January 2006, she joined the El Paso County Domestic Relations Office, returning to a family-focused law practice, and is the chief legal officer for enforcement, supervision and access facilitation.

Ms. Davis is the daughter of noted African-American jazz singer, Dolores Del Rio Harding Davis, and missile engineer and logistics expert, Edmund A. “Brook” Davis, who defied the Texas anti-miscegenation laws of the 1950s to be married. Brook, a member of the Sigma Tau chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, was the first white man to serve as Basileus in a chapter of the fraternity. Their relationship framed Ms. Davis’ life and the lives of their sons, Edmund “Skip” Davis, a criminal defense attorney in Austin, Texas, Howard A. Davis, a social worker whose practice has spanned New Mexico, Arizona, Montana and Texas. They, along with sisters Quiquia Calhoun and Patricia McLeod, were raised as children of the Civil Rights Era and constantly challenged to remain faithful to the truths of justice and societal change.

Ms. Davis is a weekly columnist for the El Paso Times and has been published widely in legal journals, conferences and Catholic publications throughout the U.S. She writes on social justice, family and immigration issues and their impact on the border community and people of color. She speaks regularly to attorneys, students, women’s groups and communities in the U.S. on issues impacting the most vulnerable members of our population – the single parent, families in crisis, children, and people in movement.
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