Honoring Felicia Davis, the inaugural recipient of the Intentional Endowments Network Leadership Award!
This year's Intentional Endowment Network (IEN) Leadership Award honors Felicia's accomplishments and contributions as a climate justice trailblazer, and celebrates her excellence in inspiring others to work collaboratively and creatively for a equitable, just, low-carbon society.
At the 2023 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit, IEN recognized Felicia Davis as its first Leadership Award Honoree for her dedicated and outstanding decades of service in championing climate justice, and her active involvement in advancing the mission of HBCUs, mentoring and inspiring BIPOC individuals and women, defending democracy, and supporting a just transition to sustainable future.
Felicia M. Davis is an avid advocate for just climate policy. She began her climate justice journey after attending the UN Climate Conference in The Hague in 2000. Ozone Action later recruited her to mentor a small group of women and minority climate activists as the Georgia Airkeeper Director. She then also served as the North America Focal Point for Gender CC-Women for Climate Justice-an international advocacy coalition advancing gender equity in climate policy.
The IEN leadership team first began working with Felicia in the mid-2000s, when they were running Second Nature and Felicia was leading the Building Green Initiative at UNCF's Institute for Capacity Building. We partnered to host a series of educational events and workshops at HBCUs, Tribal Colleges, and Hispanic-Serving Institutions. Felicia later directed the Building Green Initiative at Clark Atlanta University within the Atlanta University Center - the largest consortium of historically black colleges and universities in the nation.
Felicia was an early participant and leader in the Intentional Endowments Network. After co-founding the HBCU Green Fund, she was an inaugural member of the IEN Steering Committee and drove the creation of IEN's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Working Group -- to deepen the focus in the network on how DEI issues are material to the investment process, the importance of allocating capital to diverse managers, and the opportunities to invest for racial equity. She also championed the Network's efforts to engage more HBCUs in these conversations.
She is committed to helping Black colleges and other special mission institutions transition to a more environmentally and economically sustainable future. In addition to her organizing mentorship experience, Felicia sits on numerous leadership boards, including the Board of the Georgia Coalition of Black Women and the National Coalition’s Black Women’s Roundtable. She is also a member of the Green 2.0 Board, advancing diversity in the environmental arena.
Throughout her professional career, she produced several resources. She authored the critical Air of Injustice Report that chronicles the effects of air pollution emissions on African Americans; the MSI Green Report, the first minority-serving institution sustainability survey. And the Sustainable Campuses-Building Green at Minority Serving Institutions, a compilation of energy efficiency and campus sustainability case studies and leadership perspectives. Her most recent publication, the 2014 HBCU Green Report, was developed in partnership with the North Carolina Institute for Minority Economic Development and highlight more than 40 black colleges' sustainability practices.
IEN is humbled to have Felicia Davis lead our network as Steering Committee member, and we expresses our sincere congratulations for this much-deserved recognition. Her work continues to inform and inspire climate justice action within and outside of the network.