Former NFLer will Keynote
Former NFL player Wade Davis is a thought leader, writer, public speaker, and educator 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.
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.