My name is Sharnay Hearn Davis, and I am the founder of an organization called the #SistersLiftingasWeClimb Network. The Sisters Lifting as We Climb Network was founded in September of 2015 as a personal and professional support network for women of color. Rooted in the principles of healing, networking, and ascending together.
How we got started?
My professional background is in social work, community development, and government relations. I climbed the professional ladder very quickly as a young professional. In 2012, I began representing the United States and the City of Pittsburgh on the global stage as a One Young World Ambassador.
I had many African American men who were my mentors due to my work in the Black Male Achievement space. While working on the City of Pittsburgh's My Brother's Keeper strategic plan, I found myself telling my friends and colleagues not to forget about the Women and Girls. They all nicely told me, "We are men, Sharnay, you do it." I politely refused and said, "me, women, and girls don't mix; I don't want any parts." But God had another plan for me. I couldn't shake that I was called to work with women of color.
5 years later, I have been blessed to continue this work. I am now being recognized for my contributions to the field. Recently being selected to be a 2020 BMe Vanguard Fellow and the Greater Pittsburgh Athena Young Professional.
In April 2018, my friends and colleagues donated to raise funds for 2 African American women from the City of Pittsburgh to attend the United States of Women Summit in Los Angeles. Since returning to our hometown, we have been diligent, applying what we learned from the summit, continuing to advocate on behalf of black women, and creating opportunities to amplify their voices.
In November 2019, the City of Pittsburgh Gender Equity Commission released the Pittsburgh’s Inequality Across Gender and Race report that illuminated the disparities that Black Women and girls face related to our health, income, and education outcomes.
As the #SistersLiftingasWeClimb Network leader, we added advocacy as a key component of our work.
Why are we here?
I need your help! Many of you in my network have asked how you can support the #SistersLiftingasWeClimb Network.
I am asking my network to #InvestinBlackWomen and ask your friends and families to do the same, beginning to champion this work in your everyday lives.
Many of you know this initiative has been self-funded by myself and by the women paying a small fee to attend workshops and events. My first year was about having a proof of concept. Minimal funds profited. As we celebrate 5 Years of #SistersLiftingasWeClimb, we need funds to sustain our work.
Last Sunday, we kicked off our fundraising efforts. We raised $1,000 to date. It is our goal is to raise $25,000 + More by Dec 31, 2021, for the following:
1. Invest in Black Women Advocacy Campaign - $2,500 - Deadline: Nov 14, 2020 - Thanks to you we met our goal!
2. Website Development - $2,000 - Deadline: December 20, 2020 - Thanks to you we met our goal!
3. Book Project/ Publishing - $6,000 - Deadline: Feb 2020 - Thanks to you and a grant from the Poise Foundation, we will be hosting our book launch on March 20, 2021!
4. Healing Retreat in Atlanta, GA - $5,000 - Deadline: March 2020 - Due to COVID 19 this retreat has been postponed.
5. Professional Development Fund - $10,000 - On Going
You can also support by purchasing a #SistersLiftingasWeClimb Gift Box. $10 from each box will go towards our fundraiser. You can purchase it here: https://rljdesigns.com/collections/gift-boxes/products/invest-in-black-women
Thank you in advance for your support. If you can not contribute at this time, I ask that you share this with your network.
If you would like to learn more about the network or your interested in collaborating for future endeavors, please email us at [email redacted]
Sharnay Hearn Davis, MSCL
Founder of The #SistersLiftingasWeClimb Network
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