Who is Grace Diaz?
Leadership Delivering Results for Our Community
Democratic Caucus Chair
Member, House Committee on Finance
Member, House Finance Subcommittee on Public Safety
Member, House Finance Subcommittee on Human Services
Member, House Committee on Rules
Chairwoman, Legislative Commission on Child Care
Grace Diaz (D) has represented the people of District 11 in Providence since first being elected in November 2004. She was named the Democratic Caucus Chair in January 2015, which makes her a member of the House Leadership Team. She is a member of both the House Committee on Finance and the House Committee on Rules. She is the chairwoman of the Legislative Commission on Child Care in Rhode Island.
In 2016, Representative Diaz introduced legislation aiming to curtail racial disparities in school discipline. The new law directs all school superintendents to review discipline data for their school districts to decide whether there is an unequal impact on students based on race, ethnicity, or disability status, and to respond to any disparity.
Always an advocate for children, Representative Diaz sponsored legislation in 2015 that creates a non-discriminatory clause in the Children’s Bill of Rights for all children under the care of DCYF. The law prevents any discrimination against children based on race, color, religion, ancestry, gender or other factors.
Increasing access to adult education is another of Representative Diaz’s priorities. In 2014, she introduced successful legislation that requires the state Board of Education to consider several factors, including cost, in determining which high school equivalency tests will be recognized by the state.
Prior legislative accomplishments also include a law preventing children from receiving out-of-school suspensions for attendance issues and legislation aimed at raising awareness about lupus, a chronic illness causing the immune system to attack normal body tissues.
For several years, every Nov. 14, Representative Diaz has hosted the World Diabetes Day celebration at the Rhode Island State House to spread the word about how to take control of the disease. She has also hosted the State House’s Child Care Awareness Day annually for the past five years.
Representative Diaz holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Springfield College, which she earned in 2008 and 2010. A native of the Dominican Republic, she graduated from Los Angeles Custodios High School in 1977.
Representative Diaz is the MBE/WBE Outreach Director for the Office of Economic Opportunity at the City of Providence.
Representative Diaz is also a member of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO), Women in Government, National Hispanic State Legislators and the Rhode Island Black and Latino Caucus.
Rep. Diaz has five children: Maria, Gisselle, Ruben, Felix and Cristian, and six grandchildren: Nehemiah, Kariana, Xavier, Anelle, Zoe and Amaih Gracemarie.