Celebrating Our Women Leaders –
Paris Davis, Youth ALIVE! Intervention Manager:
“Women’s history month in my opinion is underrated. Women have done so much, but even with all the steps that have happened to move things forward, women are still not as valued as they should be. I’m a grown man and I’ve only recently learned about Women’s History Month. So first of all, I’m super grateful to women. I have a daughter, and I believe women should be recognized every day, not just for the month. When I think about my daughter, I want equal rights. As an African American, I want racism eradicated and I also want sexism erased. I want my daughter to feel like she can run for president, or any job she wants, and to be comfortable in her own skin.
“My mother was the biggest influence on me to get into this work, but also with every dream I had. She told me that I was different, and that I was going to make a difference. For a while, I only cared about basketball. But she gave me the confidence to help me develop certain traits; to be charismatic, sensitive, to be a leader, to not pass judgement. So when I do this work, I just see people, not their situations. Because of my mom, when I think of the people we serve, I see them as human beings. My mom has made me a lot more sensitive to things that I wouldn’t have been otherwise. I also need to give a shout out to Kyndra Simmons, YA!’s Director of Programs, as a professional mentor and a life mentor. She taught me that “you can’t pour out of a cup that’s already empty.” She taught me about self care, how to have longevity in this work, and to have a healthy family and personal life. She’s an incredible role model. I also have to give a shout out to Nina. She’s all about community and we’re both from East Oakland. She’s outspoken, which is something we have in common. She sees how resources are spent, and she believes in investments in communities. Nina Carter and Kyndra will always make time for you and are always ready to help.”
My mom has made me a lot more sensitive to things that I wouldn’t have been otherwise.