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 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.
Wolf-Whistle Politics: Taking Back the Conversation to Advance Women’s Rights
Why has the women’s movement hit a logjam, and what can be done about it? With women now graduating from college at higher rates than men, why are they earning less than their male counterparts? Why do female political leaders still only make up 20 percent of the US House and Senate?
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. Davis introduces the dangers of “wolf-whistle politics,” coded language that seeks to minimize the power of the women’s movement, and provides fresh alternatives to divisive, battle-scarred rhetoric. With the same “we’re still standing” style that took her 2013 filibuster into the national spotlight, Davis outlines how the women’s movement can reignite the conversation and advance women’s equality—on its own terms.
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 and everyone is empowered to succeed. A single mother from humble beginnings who worked her way to Harvard Law, the Texas Senate, and national stage, Davis knows what it’s like to be the only woman at the table. Drawing on her powerful personal experiences and current national advocacy work at Deeds Not Words actively shaping 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.
The Equality Economy: How the Government's Role in 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 percent of US household spending, can achieve a broader goal through 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 legislation that ensures women’s equality continues to advance. Every rung women advance on the ladder to equality and every new crack in the glass ceiling pay dividends to what Davis calls “the equality economy”—a strengthening of the economy through legislation that protects and advances the individual and collective rights of women.
Wendy Davis sought-out for leadership lecture at Duke University
Renowned women's rights activist and former Texas State Senator WENDY DAVIS was selected to deliver Duke University's prestigious Delta Gamma Lecture on Leadership and Ethics to the incoming freshman class. In her powerful, poignant remarks, Davis opened up about the obstacles she's overcome in her life as a single mother rising from humble beginnings to Harvard Law School and the Texas State Senate. She also encouraged students to always stand up for what they believe in and to be unafraid to embrace failure. Having skyrocketed to near celebrity status after her historic 13 hour filibuster in the Texas Senate to stop a legislative effort that would have dramatically reduced women’s access to healthcare services in her state, Davis was refreshingly candid about her political views and the current administration. As students in attendance raved: “I thought it was really brave of her to come here and speak so clearly about political issues, especially in today’s climate,” and "She put so much emotion into the speech that she gave, and was so open with us about what she thought...” Davis was also recently sought-out to speak at the Telluride Festival for the premier of the new Netflix film "Reversing Roe," which featured news clips from her filibuster described in stellar reviews as "the most vivid scenes, full of passion..." Davis bring energy, passion and substantive commentary to each of her engagements, whether on a college campus or on the TED stage.
Wendy Davis inspires and empowers at Stanford Women’s Coalition
In a panel hosted by the Stanford Women’s Coalition, WENDY DAVIS spoke to 220 attendees about activism and resilience, touching on the remarkable work of her organization Deeds Not Words. The former Texas Senator rose to the political spotlight in 2014 during an eleven hour filibuster fighting for women’s rights, a feat that led to her informative and inspiring TedTalk on “Using Your Voice (and Your Feet!) to Change the World.” Davis’ courage, passion and ambition made her the perfect candidate for the Stanford group, who tweeted out lots of praise during the substantive remarks. The event entitled, “Nevertheless, She Persisted”, a phrase that has become a viral modern feminist mantra, headlined Davis who highlighted strategic, actionable steps women can take to defend their rights and make their voices heard. Davis maintains her status as a global feminist icon; her work aims to generate a movement by inspiring citizens both old and young to get involved in politics and be tenacious. Davis’s recent and widely-shared Vox and Bustle articles are a testament to her clout, serving as powerful reminders of why women need to stand up and speak out.Hear Wendy Davis speak more about her passion for her organization >>
Deeds Not Words - Founded by Wendy Davis
Founded by WENDY DAVIS, Deeds Not Words brings together women ready to make the world a better place. This community of change-makers, passionate about a range of interrelated issues—income inequality, sexual assault, reproductive rights, workplace equality, access to affordable higher education, and paid family leave—will empower future generations of millennial activists to march forward to actively realize change. Launched in May 2016, Deeds Not Words is a starting point for turning talk and ideas about women’s equality into action, by providing the community, resources, and information to make changes in your community. Deeds Not Words is a hub for change-makers, where millennial women share stories, and receive techniques, and ideas that inspire them to participate in civic issues, advocate for change on their campuses and in their workplaces, and in the political arena.Visit this speaker's website > >
Famed Women's Rights Advocate Wendy Davis Launches New Project at SXSW
Former Texas State Senator and women's rights advocate Wendy Davis launched a new project at SXSW. Deeds Not Words is intended to provide the "38 million millennial women in our country... with the tools that they need to transform their passion for women’s rights and progress" into action.Read More
Wendy Davis on tough Political Campaigns and Sexism
Wendy Davis gives insights into the ongoing presidential race and more during a recent radio interview.Listen Here
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.