Christian Davis: Connecting Families with Community
December 21, 2023
Christian Davis had every reason to live life under the radar, instead this mom is living life out loud helping other parents be heard.
At the age of twelve, Christian Davis was forced to go into the foster care system. “No one teaches you how to navigate, I had to learn early on how to build a network. I moved all throughout Ohio. As a kid I was forced to adapt quickly. I was constantly trying to find out how I was going to survive in a new town and a new school. I was challenged to find resources to survive. At 16, I went through an independent living program. I got my first apartment and was again forced to navigate on my own,” said Christian.
Little did she know the skill of navigating tricky situations would become her claim to fame. In 2019, Christian started the Cincinnati Parent Empowerment Network (CPEN) using her cell phone and social media, primarily Facebook. CPEN has twenty-six thousand social media followers. The non-profit serves more than 250 families in-person through a case management style and a small staff of three.
While helping other parents find their voice, Christian found more of her own voice with the help of the the Women’s Fund’s Appointed Civic Leadership Academy (ACLA). The academy’s quarterly half-day workshops help empower and prepare women for leadership roles on civic boards and commissions. The women also have a chance to network with policymakers and elected officials.
“Appointed showed me the power of sharing your voice and leveraging that in a way that will make people take notice. Whether we are advocating for better childcare or community resources, there is a way to go about it and the ACLA helped show me the way.”
The sessions are open to anyone with an interest in civic engagement. At the end of the four learning sessions, participants will be given a certificate of completion.
“What I like about it, there is no cost. And that is huge and there is not a huge time commitment. They really made sure that it was time well spent. I felt like I was ready to take on the world, something that seemed out of reach was suddenly something I could do. It is so full circle for me, growing up in the Hamilton County foster care system and now I am serving helping make decisions for the county,” Christian added.
Christian now sits on the Hamilton Community Development Advisory Committee and the Hamilton County Commission on Women & Girls. She gives much of the credit to Appointed. “I would not have even known the actual process of how to apply to serve on any on these boards had it not been for ACLA. It has been a huge blessing not only for myself professionally but then I am able to give what I am learning back to our parents. I have recommended the academy to many families.” Christian said, “It is the best kept secret in Hamilton County.”