Wade Davis led programs in Job Readiness as Assistant Director at HMI from 2011-2013 and was also an advisor to the Youth Advisory Board. In an interview with The Advocate in 2012, he described his experience at HMI …
“This is my second dream job. I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to play in the NFL, and now I have the opportunity to change the life of so many young people, every single day. I mean, they’re the heroes. They’re the real ones who have the courage to fight, and to be themselves. I look back and I think, ‘Wow, how did I think I had a struggle when I was afraid to be gay at 24, when these kids are 12, 13, 14 years old, living their truth.’ It really puts a lot of things in perspective.”
Before joining HMI, Wade played in the NFL for the Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, and Seattle Seahawks as well as in the NFL Europe for teams in Barcelona and Berlin. In 2003, he retired from the Washington Redskins due to injury and later became captain of the National Gay Flag Football League, the New York Warriors.
Wade also served as Executive Director and Director of Professional Sports Outreach for the You Can Play project—an advocacy organization working to eradicate homophobia in professional sports—where he developed curriculum, programming, training, and facilitated conversations focused on inclusion, equality, equity, and diversity.
Wade has been invited to keynote and present workshops at colleges, universities, and corporations around the world and has been featured in The Washington Post, CNN, NPR, USA Today, People Magazine, Ebony Magazine, BET, Outsports, and the Bleacher Report for his activism and personal story. Wade’s writings have appeared in The Huffington Post, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, The Advocate, Good Housekeeping, The Guardian and Outsports. He has also contributed to the book, For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough: Coming of Age, Coming Out, and Coming Home by Keith Boykin.
Wade has also been an Adjunct Professor at both the NYU School of Professional Studies Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business and the Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration.
He also co-founded with HMI staff Darnell Moore, the YOU Belong initiative, a three-day comprehensive sports instruction and leadership development clinic for LGBTQ and straight allied youth. During that time, Wade also launched the Speaker’s Collective, aimed at providing support, promotion and sense of community for LGBTQ professionals of color.
Wade was the NFL’s first LGBT Diversity and Inclusion Consultant and has consulted for numerous professional sports leagues on issues at the intersection sexism, racism and homophobia. He also has consulted for Google, Netflix, AppNexus and others to co-create transformative solutions to build inclusive corporate cultures.
Wade has also starred in the documentary F(l)ag Football about the National Gay Flag Football League and guest starred on the drama series, American Crime in 2016, and he has served as a board member at GMHC and an advisory board member for the GLSEN Sports Project.
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