In her adolescence, Darnella Davis, penned hopes and dreams in pastel dairies that came with a small lock secured with a tiny key. Decades later, those early jottings led to a quest for more honesty in public discourse and an engagement in social justice.
A Commercial Art student of Cass Technical High School, Darnella received a scholarship to Parsons School of Design in New York City. She studied French language and civilization at the University of Dakar (Senegal) and completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, graduating cum laude from the University of Michigan. A believer in lifelong learning, Darnella obtained a Master’s of Fine Arts from Massachusetts College of Art and Design where she subsequently taught drawing and color theory. After a move to Washington, D.C, she continued teaching courses at Maryland College of Art and Design. The opportunity to influence education policy, while researching her cultural origins, drew her to pursue a doctorate in Education Policy at The George Washington University. Her topic: Federal Indian Education Policy, a study that asked how a culturally relevant curriculum engages our poorest performing student group, Native Americans.
After many years conducting research and evaluation of educational programs designed to improve access to more rigorous courses for traditionally underperforming groups, Dr. Davis consolidated her interests in Untangling a Red, White, and Black Heritage, a Personal History of the Allotment Era (University of New Mexico Press, 2018). Her next project examines Alexis de Tocqueville’s thoughts about the future of the three races that inhabited the U.S. in 1830 and their long-term impact on democracy.