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Wade  Davis

Wade Davis

Former NFL Player, Equality Advocate & Educator


Former NFL player Wade Davis is a thought leader, public speaker, and consultant on gender, race, and orientation equality. Wade is the NFL’s first LGBT inclusion consultant and currently consults for numerous professional sports leagues on issues at the intersection sexism, racism and homophobia. Wade creates league-wide inclusive leadership strategies, leads inclusion-training sessions for coaches and players, and builds and launches national engagement initiatives. Read More >

In addition to his work in sports, Wade is currently consulting for Google and advising Fortune 500 companies in co-creating transformative solutions to build inclusive corporate cultures. Wade coaches senior leaders to adapt their leadership styles to include and address a more diverse employee population.

Wade is a UN Women Global Champion for Innovation, part of the 50th Anniversary Advisory Council for the National Fair Housing Alliance, and is a founding member of VICE’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory board with Gloria Steinem, Roberta Kaplan and others. He has partnered with Planned Parenthood, the Ms. Foundation and Huffington Post Women, separately launching unique initiatives and PSA’s to define, establish, and achieve the political, social and economic equality for women and men.

Understanding the importance of engaging men in the dialog of gender equity and equality, Wade built a six-session Men’s Gender Equality Development program that will launch with the United Nations and other organizations in February. His work to engage, educate, and help men understand what actions to take towards gender equality include a partnership with the Ms. Foundation and Ebony Magazine where he launched the #BlackMenAndFeminism campaign and with the Ms. Foundation’s #MyFeminismIs campaign. Wade’s first TEDx Talk, The Mask of Masculinity, has been viewed over 15,000 times and he looks to continually engage men across multiple platforms to become more self-reflective and divest from patriarchal practices.

A former national surrogate for President Obama, Wade has taught at both NYU and Rutgers, and received an honorary Doctor of Public Service from Northeastern University. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

APB Presents: Wade Davis

TEDTalk: The Mask of Masculinity

LGBT & Sports

Wade Davis on American Crime

Intersections of Inclusion

Expand the Idea of Masculinity

Feminism Should end Patriarchy

Speech Topics

LGBT & Sports: The Coming Out Process

As a former NFL player and one of the few openly gay former professional athletes, Wade shares his own coming out process and the work he does as an LGBT consultant for the NFL and as Executive Director of the You Can Play Project, an organization with partnership with including the NHL, MLS, CFL and others.

At Risk vs. At Promise: Defining Inner City Youth

When working in marginalized communities, the words and the language that we use matters, and how we talk about the young people we are trying to impact can determine how we show up – as social justice advocates or as saviors.  Do we see their promise? Do we see them as we look at ourselves in the mirror? While working with marginalized youth at the Hetrick-Martin Instiute, teaching at the Harvey Milk High School, and creating the country's only inner city LGBT sports camp, Wade explains how to embody this idea of fictive kinship and see the promise in young people.

Masculinity: An Imaginary Friend

How do you define masculinity?  Wade defines masculinity as an imaginary friend, and if left unchecked, masculinity can be highly toxic. Through his teachings and training, he’s learned we must do the work to unlearn the seductive nature of sexism and toxic masculinity, and move to create space for all without stigma and shame being attached. Wade talks about the work he's done to undo the constraints of perceived masculinity, and move forward in a positive way. Read More >

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Intentional Diversity & Inclusion

Have we emptied the true meaning of intersectionality by only changing the optics of organizations, without understanding the structural and institutional challenges that go unnoticed?  Through practical and tangible examples, see how Wade can help your business evolve into a space where diversity and inclusion becomes part of your organizational DNA.

Sexism: How Ending Sexist Oppression Will Free Men

Far too often we imagine that ending sexism impacts only women. Yet if we re-imagine the gender roles and expand our understanding of masculinity and femininity, men benefit from the expansion:  how they can show up in world without the pressures of performing toxic forms of hyper masculinity. Wade explores his own dialog with feminism, tools to be pro-active about ending the sexist dialog, and leads conversation around the topic.