Skip to main content

Stephanie Davis oral history interview, August 26, 2010

 Item — othertype: Oral History
Identifier: DavisS_20100826

Scope and Contents

Interivewed by Morna Gerrard. Davis describes her experiences growing up in a Jewish community in Tampa, Florida during the 1950s and early 1960s. She discusses the impact of her parents upon her life and how they supported her activism. Her life was deeply informed by the public service of her mother who served in the Florida House of Representatives for many years. Davis attended Skidmore College and then traveled in Europe where she exposed a CIA operation tracking New Left student groups. Later, Davis earned a Master’s Degree from Cambridge in a pioneering feminist studies program. This program cemented her desire to dedicate her life to working on issues of social justice for women. Davis talks about beginning her career working to establish a battered women’s shelter in Charleston, South Carolina. Davis then relocated to Atlanta where she has remained ever since. In her early years in Atlanta Davis worked for the YWCA and then became the first staff person for the Atlanta Women’s Foundation. Davis discusses the role and evolution of the Atlanta Women’s foundation which was originally a part of the Community foundation of Atlanta, but became independent under her leadership. She details the structure and the individual women who were active in the many spheres of women’s activism in Atlanta and nationally during the ‘80s, ‘90s, and 2000s. Davis has been involved with a variety of issues throughout her life, but she was particularly active in women’s reproductive justice, violence against women, and the campaign against child sex trafficking.


  • Creation: August 26, 2010


Restrictions on Access

Oral history available for research in the Special Collections and Archives Reading Room.

Biographical Note

Stephanie Davis is the executive director of Georgia Women For a Change, a non-profit public policy institute with a gender lens, that represents Georgia activists across a spectrum of issues including health care, economic justice and challenging violence against women and girls. Georgia Women for a Change introduced legislation to combat human trafficking and institute flexible sick leave policy. Davis served as the first Policy Advisor on Women's Issues to Mayor Shirley Franklin and in that role, coordinated the "Dear John" campaign to end the prostitution of children in Atlanta. As the first director of the Atlanta Women's Foundation, where she served for 11 years, Davis was responsible for raising several million dollars, establishing an endowment and positioning the Foundation to be the fastest growing women's fund in the country. Davis currently serves on the Board of Synchronicity Theatre and the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She is a graduate of Skidmore College and recieved one of the country's first Masters in women's studies from Goddard College.


2 item(s) (audio (2:07:36 duration) transcript (80 pages))

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404-413-2881 (Fax)