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Rev. Tawana Angela Davis, Ph.D. is a 2021 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Tawana Angela Davis at her Dissertation Defense.

From L-R: Dr. Donna Ladkin, Committee Chair, Dr. Aqeel Tirmizi, Committee Member, Rev. Dr. Regina Groff, Committee Member.

Dissertation Committee

  • Donna Ladkin, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Aqeel Tirmizi, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Rev. Regina Groff, Ph.D., Committee Member


womanist, womanism, intergroup dialogue, IGD, anti-black racism, racial justice, IPA, interpretive phenomenological analysis, Sankofa, ubuntu, storytelling, epistemology, black women, black experiences, leadership, Alice Walker

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Womanism is a term curated by Alice Walker (2004) that centers Black women’s lived experiences, past and present, encouraging Black women to no longer look to others for their liberation (Floyd-Thomas, 2006). Soul 2 Soul Sister’s Facing Racism program is facilitated by Womanist instructors, who work with groups of mostly white people to address anti-Black racism. This qualitative study explored the experiences of white participants who took part in this program, Facing Racism, which holds Womanism as its central guiding principle. Although pre- and post-surveys were routinely conducted over the years about participants’ experiences with Facing Racism, this study sought to take a deep dive using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis to understand how the white participants made sense of the Facing Racism experience and the longer-term outcomes it promoted in addressing and ending anti-Black racism. The interpretive phenomenological analysis explored the experiences of white people who completed the Facing Racism program. Eight white participants were interviewed using open-ended questions. The key findings of the study included: a) indications of the transforming impact of Womanist and intergroup dialogue in anti-racism work, b) revelations of the preconceptions and biases antithetical to ending anti-Black racism that participants brought with them, c) an affirmation of anti-racism work that works beyond the intellect and the importance of heart and gut/soul work, and d) the identification of racial justice work as life-long work. The key contributions include: a) the verification of a Womanist epistemology as an effective means to address anti-Black racism, b) the value of Womanist ethos in conducting anti-Black racism work centering Black women and Black experiences, c) the introduction and nomenclature of a love-based revolution to address and eradicate anti-Black racism, d) identification of ways for white people to dismantle white supremacy/privilege/thought for the liberation of the historically oppressed and the oppressor and e) a way for white people to commit to address and end anti- Black racism in the long run. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA ( ) and OhioLINK ETD Center (


Tawana Angela Davis

ORCID Scholar ID #: #0000-0002-2128-9275

Reverend Tawana Davis, BA, MDiv, MA, Ph.D., 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. 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. Reverend Dr. Davis earned a Master of Arts in Leadership and Change and her Doctorate of Philosophy in Leadership and Change at Antioch University Graduate School of Leadership and Change. Reverend Dr. Davis is a Womanist, thought provoker, preacher, community leader, domestic violence survivor, and awareness advocate; currently surviving HER2+ metastatic breast cancer; and a Co-Founder of Soul 2 Soul Sisters. Established in 2015, Soul 2 Soul Sisters leads and facilitates anti-racism work across the country through its signature program Facing Racism. Tawana contributed to the ground-breaking academic textbook "Race Work and Leadership: New Perspectives on the Black Experience." Reverend Dr. Davis serves as the Secretary of IREE (Institute for Racial Equity and Excellence). She hosts a podcast called #tuesdayswithtawna on Fb Live, various Podcast platforms, and YouTube. Tawana is the moderator and strategic planner for the award-winning Healing the Healers II 4-part series on Domestic Violence Awareness produced by Odyssey Impact and Transform Films. Tawana is a proud mother of two master level educators, a grandmother, and most of all a Justice activist for all!