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An Open Discussion on Black History, Spirituality, and Culture With Rev. Tawana Davis

Mathew Knowles Episode 2 Podcast Cover

This Episode's Key Topics:

Reverend Tawana Davis’s Roots and Growth: The interview opens with Mathew Knowles exploring Reverend T’s upbringing in Harlem, her educational journey, and her academic pursuits, painting a picture of her rich background that shapes her insights on spirituality and community leadership.

Historical Power of the Black Church: Mathew Knowles engages Reverend T in a discussion about the critical role the black church played during the civil rights movement. They reflect on its significance not just as a religious institution but as a pivotal force in community activism and social change.

Adaptation to Contemporary Challenges: Knowles and Reverend T discuss the modern-day challenges facing the black church, particularly the impact of capitalism and the pandemic. Reverend T voices her concerns about the church’s diminished connection with the community and its lessened societal influence.

Church Beyond Worship: The discussion acknowledges the historical role of the church as a vital community center, providing education, business support, and social services. This perspective underlines the church’s potential to serve broader community functions.

Revitalizing the Church’s Modern Role: Reverend T, prompted by Knowles’ questions, urges the church to reclaim its strong historical role, especially in addressing contemporary issues such as the pandemic and supporting marginalized groups.

Faith and Science in Health Matters: Mathew Knowles brings up the balance between faith and science in health, particularly relevant in the church’s response to COVID-19. Reverend T advocates for a harmonious approach, combining spiritual beliefs with scientific knowledge.

Historical Distrust in Healthcare: Reverend T discusses the African American community’s historical mistrust towards the medical system, with Knowles acknowledging these complexities. Reverend T emphasizes the church’s role in promoting health awareness and critical engagement with medical practices.

Cultural Dualities and Identities: The concept of “double consciousness” is explored, with Reverend T describing the need for African Americans to navigate between their own culture and the dominant white culture. Knowles’ probing leads to discussions on how the church can more actively address this issue.

Storytelling and Cultural Resonance in the Church: The importance of resonating storytelling in the church is discussed, emphasizing the need for narratives that reflect the

congregation’s experiences, particularly in the context of racial and cultural differences.

Conversations on Race and Differences: Mathew Knowles and Reverend T stress the importance of open discussions about race and cultural differences. They advocate for a better understanding and respect for these differences to foster coexistence and mutual understanding.

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About Rev. Tawana Davis

Reverend Tawana Davis, Ph.D. is the curator for Dr. TAD Enterprises; a racial-justice organization that uses Womanism as a love-based revolution that centers Black women to address anti-Black racism, disparities in breast cancer and Black women, and domestic violence advocacy. Rev. Dr. Davis is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Soul 2 Soul Sisters. She is also an equity, anti-racism trainer for the Center for Equity and Excellence.

Reverend Dr. Davis is the daughter of the late Edward Eugene Davis Jr. and the late Rose Lee Davis. Born and raised in Harlem, New York she was educated in the public school system, raised in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and began her life of service in the beautiful shadows of her mom and dad.

After attending St. John’s University, Tawana completed her last year of studies at State University of New York Empire State with a Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management. Reverend Dr. Davis earned a certificate in Project Management from New York University and Human Resources (PHR) from Cornell University. Later, she received a Master of Divinity at Turner Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA. Rev Dr. Davis earned a Master of Arts in Leadership and Change and her Doctorate of Philosophy in Leadership ad Change at Antioch University Graduate School of Leadership and Change.

Reverend Dr. Davis is a Womanist, thought provoker, speaker, preacher, and community leader. She is a breast cancer survivor and is in active treatment for metastatic breast cancer. She is an advocate and activist for racial justice, breast cancer awareness, and a certified domestic violence advocate. Reverend Dr. Davis is the Co-Founder of Soul 2 Soul Sisters, a Black Woman-led, faith-based, racial justice non-profit organization that centers Black lives and experiences. Established in 2015, Soul 2 Soul Sisters is leading and facilitating anti-racism work across the country through its signature program Facing Racism. Tawana is a contributor to the ground-breaking academic textbook “Race Work and Leadership: New Perspectives on the Black Experience.” Dr. Davis is also a contributor to Explore: Vocational Discovery in Ministry. She hosts a vodcast/podcast called #tuesdayswithtawna on Fb Live, various Podcast platforms, and YouTube. Tawana is featured as the moderator and strategic planner for the Telly award-winning Healing the Healers II 4-part series on Domestic Violence Awareness produced by Odyssey Impact and Transform Films. Tawana was a presenter of three workshops for the Conference on Crimes Against Women. Dr. Davis serves on the board of directors for the Institute of Racial Equity and Excellence and serves on the Patient Co-Creation Council for Genentech, Inc.

Tawana is a proud mother of master level two educators, a grandmother, and most of all a Justice activist for all!

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