Wendy Davis is the founder of Deeds Not Words, an advocacy initiative that empowers millennial women to channel their passion and energy on issues of gender equality into actionable change. She was previously a Texas state senator and candidate for governor of Texas, who fought tirelessly for reproductive rights, equal pay for women, justice for sexual assault survivors, affordable quality education and equality for the LGBTQ community.
Wendy’s public service career spans 3 decades, serving as a Fort Worth city councilperson for 9 years prior to her election to the Texas State Senate. From very humble beginnings, Wendy worked as a single parent to forge a path to college, beginning at community college, earning a scholarship to Texas Christian University where she graduated first in her class, and ultimately graduating with honors from Harvard Law School.
Widely recognized as a leader on women’s equality, Wendy is best known for her historic 13 hour filibuster on the floor of the Texas Senate to kill a legislative effort aimed at dramatically reducing women’s access to abortion care in her state. Her efforts were vindicated with the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt which overturned Texas’ anti-abortion law.
A proud surrogate for Hillary Clinton, Wendy has traveled to numerous states throughout the country, speaking on behalf of Secretary Clinton. She is also a regular guest on both CNN and MSNBC.
Though she was unsuccessful in her bid to become Texas’ first Democratic governor in 20 years, Wendy shattered records in both fundraising and volunteer recruitment. With over $43 million raised in her gubernatorial race, Wendy is most proud of the fact that the average donation to her race was only $103, with over 183,000 unique contributors from all over the country supporting her election. In addition to raising an extraordinary amount of money during her campaign, Wendy also energized a record number of over 34,000 active volunteers, and built a social media following of over 550,000 Facebook followers and over 180,000 Twitter followers, who continue to follow her work today.
Noted for her talents as a legislative leader, in 2009 Wendy was named the Texas Legislature’s Rookie of the Year by Texas Monthly magazine and Freshman of the Year by AARP, was named to Texas Monthly’s Top Ten Best Legislators in 2013 and has received numerous awards, including the 2013 Women Who Dared award by the National Council of Jewish Women, the 2013 Champion for Social Change award by the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault and the 2011 Legislative Star by the Texas Classroom Teachers Association.
Despite her well known work fighting for the opportunity for all Texans to realize their potential through education, employment and healthcare, Wendy is most proud of her role as mother to her daughters Amber (33) and Dru (27) and “Bubbie” to her new granddaughter, Ellis. Wendy resides and offices in Austin, Texas.
International Women's Day Lightning Talks
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