Meet NBA’s New Director of Young Adult Leadership Development

The National Benevolent Association is pleased to announce Dr. Tene Davis as our new Director of NBA’s Young Adult Leadership Development (YALD) program area.

Davis comes to the NBA with more than a decade of experience as an educator working with children and adolescents. In her most recent role, she served as Associate Director of the Early College program at Georgia State University where she was the creator of the summer program which was part of the overall Early College program. As the director of NBA’s young adult programming, Davis will develop, coordinate, and manage leadership experiences for young adults, work closely with our Community Engagement program to support our Peer Learning & Wellness Groups, create space for educational and life skills training, and usher in a new granting opportunity for young adult Disciples this summer. Tene is based in the Atlanta, Georgia, area and began her time with the NBA on June 1.

“My work at NBA serves as a continuation of the work I have been doing with young people for more than 20 years. Specifically, NBA’s YALD program area allows me to expand into co-creating spaces with young adults within a Christian environment which is one of the most exciting parts of this position,” says Dr. Davis. “I look forward to being in the development stages of new programming for young adults; thereby being witness to the growth opportunities that will be experienced.”

The NBA has been engaged with young adults in a variety of ways over the years. Whether via the Leadership Scholars Program in the 1990s, our work alongside congregations and nonprofits with missions to serve young people, or our time hosting the XPLOR Residency program, intentionally and thoughtfully working with young adult communities has been an important part of NBA programming. We are excited to expand our support for young adults in new ways for new generations.

Recently, NBA’s work with young adults has focused on peer-to-peer support. We’ve launched several Peer Learning & Wellness Groups that center young adult activists and Hispanic/Latíne Disciples; held feedback sessions to hear directly from young adults and those who work with them about what they need most; and hosted a panel discussion of Zillennials, who shared their thoughts and experiences on faith, justice, and community.  NBA is reimagining young adult leadership experiences like XPLOR by prioritizing lessons learned from that transformative program.

We are excited about our next phase of work with young adults, which will include peer-to-peer mentoring and learning, granting opportunities, and providing a space for intergenerational learning and leading.

“By centering NBA’s core value of forward-leaning, we have taken the necessary look back at our work with young adults, its impact, the effects of the global pandemic, and the reality of a whole new generation and asked ‘How can NBA best support and serve young adults today?’,” says Monica Wedlock Kilpatrick, NBA’s VP of Organizational & Leadership Development. “I’m excited that our visioning was focused on expanding access to a variety of resources to a broader community of young adults and inviting young adults to be co-creators with NBA in this work.  We are delighted to also welcome new leadership in Tene to further this vision and develop new strategies.”