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Wade  Davis

Wade Davis

Former NFL Player, Equality Advocate & Educator

Biography

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 currently consults for Google, Netflix, AppNexus and others to co-create transformative solutions to build inclusive corporate cultures. Additionally, Wade coaches senior leaders to adapt and flex their leadership styles to meet the needs and develop their entire employee population.

Wade is a Global Champion for Innovation for UN Women, as well as a member of the National Fair Housing Alliance 50th Anniversary committee. Additionally, Wade is a founding member of VICE’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory board with Gloria Steinem, Roberta Kaplan and others, as well as on the advisory board of Sparks and Honey and Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC).

Wade’s work around gender equality includes partnering with Planned Parenthood, the Ms. Foundation and Huffington Post Women, separately, launching initiatives and PSA’s to define, establish and achieve the political, social and economic equality for women and men.

In solidarity with the #MeToo movement, Time’s Up Now and Wade are collaborating to develop curricula and initiatives to remove the institutional barriers that women face in the workplace. Understanding the importance of engaging men around gender equity and equality, Wade built a ‘Men’s Gender Equality Development’ leadership program that he launched with the United Nations and other organizations in 2018.  His work to engage, educate and help men understand what actions to take toward gender equality includes a partnership with the Ms. Foundation and Ebony Magazine where he launched the #BlackMenAndFeminism campaign and with the Ms. Foundation’s #MyFeminismIs campaign.

Wade gave his first TEDx Talk at the University of Florida entitled: The Mask of Masculinity, and he looks to continually engage men through a variety of vehicles to become more self-reflective and divest in patriarchal practices. Wade’s additional work in media includes consulting on Oscar winner John Ridley’s critically acclaimed and award winning series, American Crime, where he also filmed a co-star role.

In 2012, Davis was named the Executive Director of the You Can Play Project, an organization dedicated to ending discrimination, sexism, and homophobia in sports. Still active with You Can Play, Wade currently serves as the Director of Professional Sports Outreach.

A former national surrogate for President Obama, Wade has been an Adjunct Professor at the NYU School of Professional Studies Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business and has also served as an Adjunct Professor at the Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration. He continues to lecture on the intersections of race, sexuality, gender, and sports at universities nationally and internationally.

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 Wade received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from Northeastern University for his leadership and ongoing efforts to eradicate homophobia and sexism in athletics. 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

Make It Personal

Speech Topics

Title IX Program

Title IX is landmark legislation that works to ensure that men and women both have access to a quality education, free from discrimination. Under Title IX, many women and human rights advocates have brilliantly used protections to advocate against sexual harassment and assault on college campuses. Read More >

The statistics tell us that fraternity members and student athletes commit the majority of sexual assaults on college campuses. These unsettling statistics have caused the NCAA to mandate that all student athletes get sexual assault/harassment and consent training. Former NFL player and NFL/NHL consultant Wade Davis, with years of college training experience, has created a sexuality and consent training program.

Because of his understanding of athletes, masculinity and other forms of discrimination, Wade's Title IX program is highly interactive and engaging, and ensures that the information students receive is accessible, relatable and immediately transforming. Wade has provided workshops and training at the NCAA, Big Ten, SEC, Big Sky Conference, and colleges nationally and internationally. Read Less ^

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.