Former NFL Player Wade Davis Tackles Gender Equality with Girl Up

Ex-professional athlete rallies boys and men to join the fight to empower girls around the world

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 28, 2019) – Girl Up announced today that feminist and former NFL player Wade Davis is joining Girl Up as a Champion. The ex-pro athlete and gender equality advocate will support Girl Up’s work to shift perceptions of the value and power of girls worldwide by bringing more boys and men into important conversations that help promote gender equality in everyday life.

Wade is an empathetic advocate to help men investigate and understand that feminism benefits everyone, not just women.  Wade is the NFL’s first LGBT inclusion consultant and currently consults for numerous professional sports leagues on issues at the intersection sexism, racism, and homophobia. His work to engage, educate, and help men understand what actions to take toward gender equality includes a partnership with TimesUpNOW, UN Women, the Ms. Foundation, Ebony Magazine, Planned Parenthood, and an upcoming partnership with Tarana Burke and #MeToo.

“There’s no reason for any young boy to not want to be a part of Girl Up, so we must be thoughtful when engaging young boys and make sure we talk with them — not at them. That’s why I’m so excited to add to Girl Up’s work as a Champion,” said Wade Davis of his new role as a Girl Up Champion.

Misconceptions around the word feminist have kept some men and boys from getting involved in Girl Up and the movement to promote gender equality; the idea that feminism is a girls-only movement is misleading.

“For girls, by girls doesn’t mean girls-only,” said Girl Up Co-Director Melissa Kilby. “There’s room for boys and men to join our movement, too,” Co-Executive Director Anna Blue added. “When girls rise, we all rise. We’re excited to work with Wade to engage men and boys in becoming advocates for gender equality.”

Girl Up is a leadership development initiative founded by the United Nations Foundation that works across a global community of partners to achieve gender equality worldwide.

To launch this exciting partnership, Wade tweeted about the collaboration and released a video announcement via social media.



About Wade Davis

Former NFL player Wade Davis is a thought leader, writer, public speaker, and educator on gender, race, and orientation equality. Wade is the NFL’s first LGBT inclusion consultant and currently consults for numerous professional sports leagues on issues at the intersection sexism, racism, and homophobia.

Beyond his work in sports, Wade currently consults for Netflix, Google, Viacom, and others to co-create transformative solutions to build inclusive corporate cultures and coaches senior executives to flex their leadership styles to meet the needs of and develop their entire employee population.

Understanding the importance of engaging men around gender equity and equality, Wade built a ‘Men’s Gender Equality Development’ leadership program that he launched with the United Nations and other organizations in 2018.

A former national surrogate for President Obama, Wade has been an Adjunct Professor at the NYU School of Professional Studies Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business and has also served as an Adjunct Professor at the Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration.

About Girl Up

Girl Up is a global leadership development initiative, positioning girls to be leaders in the movement for gender equality. With resources in five languages and 3,000 Girl Up Clubs in more than 100 countries, we’ve trained 48,000 girls of all backgrounds to create tangible change for girls everywhere.

Girl Up provides leadership training and gives girls tools to become gender equality advocates and activists. Through our programs, girls broaden their social impact skill set, bene t from a platform to tell their stories, and apply STEM for social good. Our girl leaders create real policy change at local and national levels, help raise millions of dollars to support United Nations programs that reach tens of thousands of girls around the world, and build community-based movements. Girl Up was founded by the United Nations Foundation in 2010, and continues to work across a global community of partners to achieve gender equality worldwide.

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About the United Nations Foundation

The United Nations Foundation acts as a strategic partner to help the United Nations mobilize the ideas, people, and resources it needs to deliver and to grow a diverse and durable constituency for collective action. We focus on issues at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals, build initiatives across sectors to solve problems at scale, and engage citizens who seek action. Founded in 1998 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner, the UN Foundation works with philanthropic, corporate, government, and individual partners.

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