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Wade Davis    

Former NFL Cornerback; LGBT Advocate; Executive Director, You Can Play Project; Co-Creator, This is Luv Campaign

Former NFL player Wade Davis is a thought leader, writer, public speaker, and educator on gender, race, and orientation equality. Davis played for the Tennessee Titans, the Washington Redskins, and the Seattle Seahawks, as well as for two different teams within the NFL Europe league.

Recently Davis added actor and television consultant to his resume as he guest starred and consulted on American Crime, ABC’s critically acclaimed series from Oscar winner John Ridley. In March of 2016, Davis gave his first TEDx Talk at the University of Florida, The Mask of Masculinity.

Davis is dedicated to using his platforms and social currency to highlight issues that directly impact women and girls. In partnership with the Ms. Foundation and Ebony Magazine, Davis launched the #BlackMenAndFeminism campaign, focusing on conversations with Black men around their perceptions and understanding of feminism. Recently, Davis worked with Huffington Post Women to film content centered on men as feminists. Future collaborations include an online campaign with Mic.com around Defining Manhood.

Davis helped launch the Ms. Foundation’s #MyFeminismIs campaign in the fall of 2015 with a series of videos, including one featuring a conversation on feminism with The Nation’s Mychal Denzel Smith. Davis appeared at the University of Chicago’s Reaching Out conference with ESPNW’s Kate Fagan to discuss the “Run Like A Girl: (Re)defining Feminism campaign and has spoken at the NCAA’s diversity conference to address the intersection of sexism and homophobia in sports as well as next steps for inclusion and forward motion. Planned Parenthood’s PSA campaign #StandWithPP prominently features Davis speaking on the need to ensure that all women have access to safe, affordable and quality healthcare.

Starting in 2014, Davis became the NFL’s first Diversity and Inclusion consultant, where he leads inclusion training sessions and national engagement initiatives including the Hi-Five project, working to further create safe space in sports for LGBT athletes. Davis’ work with the NFL will extend to individual teams and their corporate sponsors, working to erase the barriers that exist between NFL players and the LGBT community through a powerful video campaign involving players and coaches. Davis is currently at work on a book due out in 2017 that focuses on how masculinity, gender, sexual orientation and more all collide within the NFL.

As an educator, Davis was an adjunct professor at the NYU School of Wade Davis 05/24/16 2 Professional Studies Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business and served as an adjunct professor at the Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration. Davis has lectured on the intersections of race, sexuality, gender, and sports at universities nationally and internationally and is the former assistant director of academic enrichment and work readiness for The Hetrick-Martin Institute, where he taught at promise LGBT youth how to define success.

During the 2012 presidential election, Davis was an official LGBT Surrogate for President Obama, and is currently both a UN Women HeForShe Ambassador and a U.S. State Department Speaker Specialist. In these roles, Davis continues to travel globally to address issues of gender, race, sexuality and class in the interest of promoting diversity and inclusion for all.

Davis is a frequent guest on MSNBC, BBC, NPR, CNN, ESPN, and BET. His essays and writings have appeared in media outlets including the Los Angeles Times, the Advocate, Huffington Post, the New York Times, Ebony, the Guardian, and the White House Blog. Davis has spoken at and/or provided workshops and trainings at over 100 colleges, universities and corporations including Stanford University, Penn State University, Syracuse University, Texas A&M University, Fox, Pepsi Co, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Deutsche Bank.

Wade Davis was born in Little Rock, Arkansas and graduated from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. In 2014 Davis received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from Northeastern University for his leadership and ongoing efforts to eradicate homophobia and sexism in athletics.

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