Director of Young Adult Leadership Development

Dr. Tene Davis

Dr. Tene Davis serves as the NBA’s Young Adult Leadership Development (YALD) Director. Previously, she held several roles in academia including the Associate Director of Georgia State University’s Early College Program, the Director of the university’s Girls Who Code club, and the Director of the African American Male Initiative at Booker T. Washington High School at the Atlanta Public School system.

Additionally, she worked as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Early College program while pursuing her Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies at Georgia State University. Her research interests include the history of education in the South, the history of Black education, urban education, curriculum and instruction, educational policy, and college readiness. Her publication in the Journal of Negro History as well as her numerous presentations on her research topics solidifies her interest and authority in these areas.

Tene has earned numerous grants to support her work with the Early College program as well as with the African American Male Initiative (AAMI). While working at Georgia State University, she had the opportunity to serve as an instructor in the Educational Policy Studies Department. Prior to her work at Georgia State, she worked in the Atlanta Public Schools system as an elementary school teacher.

She holds an M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction and B.A. in Afro-American Studies from Howard University. Tene is based in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, she’s married to Jarvis Davis and they share two children, seven-year-old Kenley and three-year-old Eva.

Getting to Know Tene

Why do you feel “called to care” about Disciples health and social service ministry?

This specific call related to Disciples is part of an overall call I have for my life. Both my personal and professional lives have been intertwined within the areas of service. From an early age, I found myself caring for those around me. This inclination continued to be developed and cultivated while in high school and college as I moved into the areas of community development and education.

The work I will be doing with NBA’s YALD program allows my focus to remain on community development and education but with a specific focus on young adults. Serving alongside young adults as they craft their ministries within the areas of health and social services will allow for my continued growth within these areas as well. I have no doubt that this is the next phase of my life that God has for me in this continuous journey related to the call I have on my life.

Who is a hero of yours, and why?

My mother, Dr. Patricia Pelham-Harris, will always remain my hero. She was the epitome of grace, intelligence, and an example of a woman of God. She lived her faith and all around could feel, see, and witness it in action. My mother truly cared for people both as a medical professional and as a Christian. She demonstrated how medicine and faith worked hand-in-hand without contradiction. She could be found praying with her patients and prescribing medication. At the same time, my mother was my choir director, volunteered with my girl scout troop, and attended all of my important events while growing up. Her gentleness is a Fruit of the Spirit that I still admire about her and that I long for. Although she passed in 2001, her presence is still intimately felt in my everyday life. I am so grateful to have had this real-life hero in my life.

If I tried to find you in a supermarket, what aisle would you be in?

My two favorite things are seafood and carbs! You will most likely find me somewhere in between those aisles.