Wendy Davis

EXCLUSIVE
  • Founder, Deeds Not Words
  • Texas State Senator (2009-2015)
  • Advocate for Women's Rights

Former Texas State Senator and Founder of the non-profit, Deeds Not Words, Wendy Davis is renowned as a passionate advocate for women in social, economic and political spheres. After skyrocketing to near celebrity status through her historic 13-hour filibuster in the Texas Senate to stop a legislative effort that would have dramatically reduced women’s access to healthcare, Davis emerged as a leader in the national conversation surrounding women’s leadership and issues which threaten our individual opportunities. Through Davis’ work at Deeds Not Words, for which she earned a spot on Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business”, she is shaping the next generation of leaders and directly working to foster diversity, inclusivity, and change at the highest levels of business and government. Long before she was a Texas State Senator and Texas’ Democratic nominee for Governor in 2014, Davis struggled with the same obstacles faced by women around the country. Determined to break the cycle of poverty she’d been born into, Davis fought to juggle school, career and single motherhood and uses those experiences to connect with others in order to shape perspective.

At the podium, Davis combines the power of personal storytelling with her deep policy understanding to explain why equitable policies matter in the lives of women as well as the overall health and vibrancy of our economy, guiding organizations across industries toward a better understanding of the institutional value in creating diverse work environments, and key issues such as pay equity, family leave, and harassment policies. A living testament to the ability we each possess to rise above challenges and succeed, Davis demonstrates the power of each of our unique voices, and the value in raising them for what we believe in. Audiences are left inspired to utilize their individual strengths into meaningful contributions, and organizations are left with the tools and insights needed to advance positive change.

 

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Rave Reviews About Wendy Davis
Wendy was wonderful. Our supporters were so very pleased to hear from her and meet her. I will definitely recommend her to all Planned Parenthood affiliates as she is such a strong advocate and a real hero to many of us.

A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted Wendy Davis
  • PERIOD.
  • Talks at Google
  • SXSW
  • TEDx
  • Notre Dame
  • Sewanee: The University of the South
  • Omega Women's Leadership Center Manager
  • Duke University
  • Planned Parenthood of South Atlantic
In Conversation - Wendy Davis: Deeds Not Words | Talks at Google [56:06] - Get Sharable Link
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Changing the Culture: Building an Inclusive & Equitable Work Environment

In the wake of #MeToo and #TimesUp, how can organization’s foster meaningful and tangible change? A celebrated champion of women’s rights and Founder of non-profit Deeds Not Words, Wendy Davis sheds light on what organizations across industry can do to build environments where every voice is heard a ...

In the wake of #MeToo and #TimesUp, how can organization’s foster meaningful and tangible change? A celebrated champion of women’s rights and Founder of non-profit Deeds Not Words, Wendy Davis sheds light on what organizations across industry can do to build environments where every voice is heard and everyone is empowered to succeed. Named to Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business,” Davis knows what it takes to build an organization where change isn’t just talked about, but happens. Drawing on her powerful personal experiences and current work actively shaping the next generation of leaders and creating legislation around sexual violence, harassment, and women’s rights, Davis reveals a roadmap for positive progress. Candid, inspiring, and chock-full of implementable takeaways, Davis’ one-of-a-kind program leaves individuals and organizations empowered and prepared to build diverse, inclusive and equitable work environments.

Tomorrow’s Leaders, Today’s Issues: Shaping the Future of Women’s Rights

How can we move forward from the powerful cultural and political awakening of #MeToo? How do we take steps to actively promote change on a policy and leadership level? As a single mother-turned-Harvard Law graduate, Wendy Davis has witnessed firsthand the unique challenges women face during her time ...

How can we move forward from the powerful cultural and political awakening of #MeToo? How do we take steps to actively promote change on a policy and leadership level? As a single mother-turned-Harvard Law graduate, Wendy Davis has witnessed firsthand the unique challenges women face during her time as a Texas state senator and as Texas’ 2014 Democratic gubernatorial nominee. Through her work at Deeds Not Words, Davis has worked with young women to introduce and advocate passage of legislation to advance women’s rights, and by doing so, is training the next generation of diverse, female leaders. In this timely and crucial conversation, Davis discusses the obstacles the women’s movement still faces and how we can overcome them. She shares insights from working with millennials and members of Gen Z, and what the future of advocacy, leadership and policy should and will look like.  

The Equality Economy: How Women’s Equality Can Fuel America’s Economic Prosperity

Women have been standing up and fighting to advance their rights in areas ranging from equal opportunity to equal pay for years. While every woman deserves a fair chance to reach her full potential, is it also possible that achieving equal rights for women, who are responsible for approximately 80 p ...

Women have been standing up and fighting to advance their rights in areas ranging from equal opportunity to equal pay for years. While every woman deserves a fair chance to reach her full potential, is it also possible that achieving equal rights for women, who are responsible for approximately 80 percent of US household spending, can lead to achieving the broader goal of a positive impact on the economy? Wendy Davis, a legislative powerhouse known for her work on policy matters ranging from education reform to reproductive freedom, offers a unique perspective on how America’s economic potential relies on smart policy—at the workplace and in governmentthat ensures women’s equality continues to advance. Every rung women advance on the ladder to equality and every new crack in the glass ceiling pays dividends toward what Davis calls “the equality economy”—a strengthening of the economy through legislation that protects and advances the individual and collective rights of women.

Rising Up: From Single Mother to Harvard Law—How Every Woman Stands to Make a Difference

Wendy Davis, a modern-day Texas heroine, appeared on the national scene as a State Senator during her 2013 filibuster that temporarily blocked devastating legislation seeking to limit women’s access to abortions and reproductive healthcare in the state of Texas. Before that, Davis fought tirel ...

Wendy Davis, a modern-day Texas heroine, appeared on the national scene as a State Senator during her 2013 filibuster that temporarily blocked devastating legislation seeking to limit women’s access to abortions and reproductive healthcare in the state of Texas. Before that, Davis fought tirelessly in the Texas legislature to further equality for women through education, fair lending, and equal pay initiatives. A single mother from humble beginnings who worked her way to Harvard Law, Davis shares her inspiring story of overcoming adversity, fear, and self-doubt to reach these incredible heights and underscores the importance of how every woman’s story can make a difference.

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<p>Wendy Davis is a powerful speaker on women's rights and inclusivity in business and government</p>

Wendy Davis is a powerful speaker on women's rights and inclusivity in business and government

Renowned women's rights activist and former Texas State Senator WENDY DAVIS is an in-demand voice on women's rights, diversity and inclusion, and politics today, who has been sought-out to speak at Google, TED, SXSW, and more. After skyrocketing to near-celebrity status following her historic 13-hour filibuster in the Texas Senate to stop a legislative effort that would have dramatically reduced women’s access to healthcare, Davis emerged as a leader in the national conversation surrounding women’s leadership and issues which threaten our individual opportunities. Through Davis’ work at Deeds Not Words, the non-profit she founded and for which she earned a spot on Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, she is shaping the next generation of leaders and directly working to foster diversity, inclusivity, and change at the highest levels of business and government. Deeds Not Words' new project entitled Movement Mujeres, which will provide fellowships to women of color for leadership training to serve in positions of power, made headlines in Bustle as it aims to diversify seats of power in order to affect meaningful, tangible, social change. Davis brings the same passion and forward-thinking she is known for in her work, to each of her speaking engagements, compelling audiences on topics ranging from how to change workplace culture to the future of the women’s movement. Insightful, inspiring, and substantive, she regularly receives rave reviews such as: "Wendy was amazing! We were overjoyed to have her with us both at the Benefit Dinner and our Women & Power opening night. She was a pleasure to host as well..."(Omega Women's Leadership Center Manager); and "Wendy was amazing!" (PERIOD.)

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Biography

Wendy Davis is the founding director of Deeds Not Words, a non-profit that seeks to empower and activate the voices of young women. She is a former Texas State Senator, 2014 Texas Democratic Gubernatorial nominee, frequent public speaker, business owner and author. Davis gained national prominence in 2013 when she held a 13-hour filibuster to protect women’s reproductive freedoms in Texas. Her fight ultimately led to a successful and landmark decision in the U.S. Supreme Court, strengthening the landscape for abortion rights throughout the country.

Raised by a single mother with a ninth-grade education, Davis began working after school at age fourteen to contribute to the family finances. By the time she was nineteen, she was living in a trailer park with a baby daughter and holding down two jobs. Yet Davis became the first person in her family to attend and graduate from college, ultimately graduating first in her class at TCU and with honors from Harvard Law School.

She clerked and litgated before starting her own practice for federal and local government affairs, real estate, and contract compliance. Davis spent nine years on the Fort Worth City Council, focusing on neighborhood economic development.

She was elected to the Texas state senate in 2008. There she sponsored bills on everything from cancer prevention to payday lending to protecting victims of sexual assault to government transparency. In 2011, she lead the fight against a state budget that underfunded public schools by $5 billion, and two years later saw most of the funding replaced. This resulted in the Republican-led house to strip her of her position on the education committee. It was not the only effort to silence her. She narrowly won her 2012 election after federal courts threw out a Republican gerrymandering plan that affected only her district.

In 2016, Davis founded Deeds Not Words to give women the tools needed to make real progress – teaching the skills necessary for legislative victory, grassroots activism, and advocacy success.

Davis is frequently invited to appear on MSNBC and CNN, and contributes regularly to publications such as Time, Cosmo, Teen Vogue, The Hill and many more. In 2014, Davis released her autobiography Forgetting to Be Afraid.

Now, as a tireless and tenacious champion for women’s rights, Davis knows no change comes without walking the walk. From her 13-hour filibuster in the Texas State Senate to her legislative efforts to support the LGBT community, Davis has pushed for progress. Again and again. And she’s still pushing.