Born to an Ethiopian family in Baltimore, Aida Mariam Davis lived between multiple worlds. She is a descendant of anti-colonial fighters who kept Ethiopia free from colonialism when virtually all of Africa was carved out and divided among European powers. She was raised in Apple Valley, CA where her father was a member of the Mojave Desert Sierra Club and instilled a love of people and our planet. She left Apple Valley to attend UC Berkeley and it was there in Oakland that her life of activism sparked. In college, she worked for Malcolm X Grassroots Organizing (MXGM), then for Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who invited her to join the Gathering of the Elders — a meeting of civil rights leaders and young people to dialog across generations, experiences, and communities to advance social, economic and environmental justice.
These formative experiences are the foundation for her work with the People Team at Sierra Club. Before joining the Sierra Club, Davis led Decolonize Design, a boutique consulting firm with clients spanning the nonprofit sector, philanthropy, and Fortune 500 companies. She created the Belonging, Dignity, Justice, and Joy (BDJJ) framework as a powerful and sustainable alternative to the often superficial Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) industrial complex. As a longtime community organizer-turned-founder of Decolonize Design, she believes that successful movement building is not rooted in transactional processes, but instead in deep relational efforts that speak to our universal sacred personhood and sustainability of our earth.
Aida Mariam Davis will be a featured speaker at the upcoming
Kehinde Wiley: An Archaeology of Silence Speaker Series