Audrey Davis: Faith-Based Community Activist
Fort Wayne Magazine
Thank you, Audrey, for your willingness to challenge the assumptions that everything is fine and doing nothing is OK.
Your humility as a white female and the privilege that comes with it shines through as you readily admit your personal history of buying into a flawed narrative growing up. But, as an adult you grew to understand your faith and the impact of systemic racism; you came to know that passivity only emboldens oppression.
As a community organizer, you bravely challenged many issues surrounding racial and economic justice, including prison rights, voting rights and the treatment of detainees by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“Faith in Indiana is a vehicle where white, Black and Brown people come together to decide to build a community,” you said. “Within four weeks of COVID, we were already talking about the racial inequities in healthcare and had over 1,300 conversations to help people understand what were were up against.”
You and your teams worked tirelessly to create solidarity circles of local pastors and church core team members to talk, coach and inform them about policies to look out for. But, despite your expertise and experience, you were open to learning more and understanding the world better.
You said your world was permanently changed on the weekend of May 28-29—when the Black Lives Matter protests began downtown.
“We didn’t want to squelch it or control it—just locate the leaders as fractioning started among groups and support them, serve their spiritual needs,” you said. “A lot of times you can get awawy with just being the loudest in the room, but I had to shift towards relationships and creating environments of encounter without knowing the outcome.”
The outcome turned out to be City leaders, activists and citizens continuing to form working groups to bring about the promise of racial equality and universal prosperity—even with you not in the center of the conversation.