Through bold action and dedication to empowering communities, former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis has sparked opportunities to ignite women’s voices. She continues to mobilize advocates for women’s issues and other marginalized groups through her non-profit, Deeds Not Words. On February 16th, she will be sharing her voice and joining The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio for an advocacy day at the Ohio Statehouse. We can create the most influence as a community, and YOU are invited to join, too!
One of Ms. Davis’ most notable moments advocating for women’s empowerment is her 2013 Texas senate filibuster. She stood for 13 consecutive hours to halt the progress of an anti-abortion bill that would ban all abortions after 20 weeks and close numerous clinics throughout the state. Though Ms. Davis was standing at the podium alone, a community of support quickly grew around her efforts.
Ms. Davis was prohibited from eating, drinking, sitting, leaning, or using the restroom during her filibuster. But…. She could use her voice. In fact, she was required to. So she decided to include voices of the community that she was advocating for. Davis collected tens of thousands of stories from women indicating how this legislation, if passed, would negatively impact women. Ms. Davis shared many of these testimonies on the senate floor.
Davis’ filibuster sparked national conversation, generating energy for women’s equality and the right to choose. While the bill that Davis filibustered eventually passed, her actions remain relevant. Through her 2014 candidacy for Texas Governor and the founding of Deeds Not Words, a non-profit which generates resources to transform ideas into action, Ms. Davis’ influence prevails. Ms. Davis has also utilized her platform to advocate for public and higher education, LGBT rights, equal pay, women’s healthcare, challenges facing single parents, and more.
Ms. Davis’ efforts have inspired and mobilized numerous individuals and groups across the U.S. While her accomplishments and experiences are impressive, I am most inspired by her mission to convene and empower communities. I am inspired by her dedication to include the voices of many and not just her own. Generating social change for gender equality truly requires widespread commitment and multiple perspectives. Much like the work of The Women’s Fund, Wendy Davis’ efforts uplift the voices of many.
As evidenced in the work of The Women’s Fund and Wendy Davis, we cannot achieve equality alone. Join The Women’s Fund and Wendy Davis at the Ohio Statehouse on February 16th to share YOUR voice in our community.
For more information about The Women’s Fund Statehouse day, visit our advocacy page.
Written by Keely Veatch, Women’s Fund Intern