Wade’s work to engage, educate, and help men understand what actions to take toward gender equality has included partnerships with the Ms. Foundation and Ebony Magazine where he launched the #BlackMenAndFeminism campaign and with the Ms. Foundation’s #MyFeminismIs campaign.
In addition to his work as a Global Champion for Innovation for UN Women, Wade is a founding member of VICE’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board with Gloria Steinem, Roberta Kaplan and others and is on the boards of Me Too International, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the MAD Foundation, Promundo, the Peace Studio, and Sparks + Honey. Wade is also a Global Champion for Girl Up, a program of the United Nations Foundation. Understanding the importance of engaging men around gender equity and equality, Wade built a ‘Men’s Gender Equality Development’ leadership program that launched with the United Nations 2018.
Wade is the NFL’s first LGBT inclusion consultant, and has consulted for numerous professional sports leagues on issues at the intersection of sexism, racism and homophobia by creating league-wide inclusive leadership strategies, leading inclusion-training sessions for coaches and players, and building and launching national engagement initiatives. In addition to his work in sports Wade’s further work in media has included consulting on Oscar winner John Ridley’s series, American Crime, where he also filmed a co-star role.
In 2012, Wade became the Executive Director of the You Can Play Project, an organization dedicated to ending discrimination, sexism, and homophobia in sports. Wade currently serves as an advisor on professional sports outreach for You Can Play, facilitating internal and external conversations around inclusion, leadership, unpacking structural biases and reforming culture.
A former national surrogate for President Obama, Wade has been an Adjunct Professor at both the NYU School of Professional Studies Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business and the Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration. Wade gave his first TEDx Talk at the University of Florida entitled: The Mask of Masculinity, and works to engage men through a variety of vehicles to become more self-reflective and divest in patriarchal practices. 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 and received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from Northeastern University for his leadership and ongoing efforts to eradicate homophobia and sexism in athletics. He is currently at work on his first book.
- 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.
- 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.