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Meet LaShania Davis

Updated: Apr 9

Miss Black California USA 2024



Meet LaShania Davis, a name resonating not just within the concrete confines of her native city but reverberating across the landscape of social reform and advocacy. After graduating with a BS in Marketing from California State University, Los Angeles, LaShania's journey didn't culminate with her academic achievements; instead, it catapulted her into a realm where she orchestrates transformations and fosters empowerment.


Photo Credit: Arnold Turner


Currently pursuing her MBA in Leadership and Organizational Change at Pepperdine University, LaShania Davis embodies the quintessence of versatility. While navigating the rigors of academia, she doesn't confine herself solely to the theoretical realms of textbooks. Rather, she walks the talk, immersing herself in the world of television and film development at Hallmark Media - Mahogany. Here, she doesn't just create content; she crafts narratives that resonate with the masses, narratives that provoke thought and inspire action.


"With her platform Sister-Sheltering-Sisters, LaShania Davis is not just sparking change; she's igniting a revolution in the fight against homelessness."

Yet, LaShania's impact transcends the boundaries of her professional endeavors. Her brainchild, Sister-Sheltering-Sisters, stands as a testament to her unwavering commitment to societal betterment. This initiative serves as a clarion call, educating the masses about the perilous pipeline that leads individuals from the brink of homelessness to the harsh reality of destitution. Through digital and physical resource kits, LaShania endeavors to dismantle this pipeline, brick by brick, and pave the way towards a future where shelter is not a privilege but a fundamental human right.



Photo Credit: Arnold Turner


Beyond her advocacy work, LaShania Davis is a polymath, adorning herself with myriad feathers of accomplishment. An avid rock climber, she scales the cliffs of adversity with the same fervor she employs in her activism. A competitive public speaker, she lends her voice to the voiceless, articulating narratives that resonate with the collective consciousness. A lover of dance, she choreographs her steps not just on the dance floor but also in the corridors of power, effecting change with each graceful movement.



Photo Credit: Arnold Turner


From the Housing Right Certification to the Kwame Ture & Winnie Mandela Scholarship, from the MESA Regional Speaking Award to countless more, each accolade serves as a stepping stone, propelling her towards her ultimate goal. Much like her idol, the illustrious Issa Rae, LaShania aspires to build an empire, not just of wealth and influence but of compassion and empathy. Through her tenacity and resolve, she endeavors to carve a path towards a future where fair and equal housing is not just a distant dream but a tangible reality, not just across the state of California but beyond.


LaShania's tenacity and resolve shine through her accolades, from the Housing Right Certification to the Kwame Ture & Winnie Mandela Scholarship, showcasing her commitment to building a future of fair and equal housing for all.

In LaShania Davis, we find not just a leader but a luminary, a guiding light illuminating the darkest corners of societal inequity. As her journey unfolds, we stand witness to the transformation she spearheads, the change she catalyzes, and the hope she instills. In her, we find not just an individual but a movement, a movement towards a future where shelter is not a privilege bestowed upon the fortunate few but a birthright cherished by all.


Interview with LaShania Davis


Q.LaShania, your initiative, Sister-Sheltering-Sisters, addresses a critical issue in our society—the pipeline to homelessness. Can you share with us what inspired you to start this platform and the impact you hope to make within your community and beyond?


A.I grew up in government housing, so I know first-hand about the cracks, both literally and figuratively, within our nation’s housing crisis. I suffered physical harm from bug infestations, a bathroom ceiling collapsing on me during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and even an unlawful eviction a few weeks short of my graduation from Cal State LA. I figured I could either write these experiences off as something I went through and never talk about them or speak out to let others know these situations are NOT normal, they happen far too often and you are not alone in the fight for fair and safe housing. Thus, Sisters Sheltering Sisters was born.

 

Q. Balancing your studies for an MBA at Pepperdine University, a career at Hallmark Media - Mahogany, and your passion projects like Sister-Sheltering-Sisters is undoubtedly demanding. How do you manage these various responsibilities, and what drives you to continue pursuing your goals despite the challenges?


A. As I have gotten older, I’ve learned to listen to my body a lot more. Take the time to sit down and rest before your body does it for you. Though my schedule can be a bit overwhelming at times I am a huge advocate for taking mental health days and breaks when needed – true self-care. When balancing everything I’ve learned that splitting my days is the most helpful for me. If two days out of the week are for studying, those same two can’t be for pageant prep. In my moments of doubt, I take time to remember that these are the “good problems” I asked God for and I know he wouldn’t give me anything I’m not prepared to handle.

 

Q. Your journey from Compton, CA to pursuing higher education and building a successful career in television and film development is incredibly inspiring. Can you share some of the key lessons you’ve learned along the way, and how your background has shaped your perspective on leadership and advocacy? 


A. As far as background goes, I wish I could say I had a specific role model growing up that helped me navigate how I wanted my life to look. That, however, isn’t the case. “My past is my purpose” was my senior quote when I graduated high school and it still remains true. I just didn’t want the lives of many of the people around me and college was the only clear path that could make a difference. Along the way, I’ve learned that you absolutely must always show up as your authentic self but in the same breath, not everyone is deserving enough to know you at all levels. Always aspire to be kind and true to others and good people and opportunities will find their way to you.


Q. As an advocate for fair and equal housing, you’ve earned recognition for your dedication to this cause. Could you tell us about a specific moment or experience that reaffirmed your commitment to fighting for housing rights, and how it has fueled your determination to effect change?


A. In 2022, I wanted to be more well-spoken on statistics and data that would directly reflect my experience, as well as others, in this housing crisis. I gained my fair housing certification from The Fair Housing Center in the spring of 2022 and went on to be trained as a fair housing tester for The Fair Housing Foundation’s Long Beach office. Becoming a tester, I feel, truly showed my commitment because it wasn’t something I could publicly claim. I would use my real name during these investigations and if they knew my true reasoning behind reaching out to these properties I wouldn’t be able to properly report housing violations. Getting to hear how differently landlords and management companies would react to me as an “applicant” depending on my classifications was astonishing and that experience is a driving factor in my efforts towards fair and equal housing.

 

Q. As Miss Black California USA, you hold a prestigious title that comes with great responsibility. Could you share with us your goals and aspirations for this role, and how you plan to leverage your platform to further your advocacy efforts for fair housing and other important causes? 


A. My main goal overall is to get the word out about this pageant! I think the pandemic slowed down interest in pageantry overall and numbers have been low for all pageant systems ever since. I want young black women to know that Miss Black California USA is a wonderful opportunity to find community and personal development. Another goal I have is to push women from Compton and cities alike to join this community as their city’s delegate. While I could always compete as Miss Los Angeles or Los Angeles County as a delegate, I wouldn’t be able to change people’s perception of my city if I didn’t take it upon myself to use its name with pride. To finish out my reign, I will continue to publicly speak on the housing crisis and promote Sisters Sheltering Sisters’ digital resource kit as well as the physical hygiene kits that are passed out in public parks once a month. No platform or public issue is more important than another, and as your current Miss Black California USA I will continue to fight for housing, mental health, education, and all public issues that hold us back from advancing as a community!


Meet our HerCover Story LaShania Davis

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Photo Credit: Arnold Turner

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