Often referred to as “A Visionary”, Naomi Davis is nationally recognized for her work to engage and empower the African American community in health, sustainability, and economic opportunities. An urban theorist, attorney, activist, and proud granddaughter of Mississippi sharecroppers, Naomi founded and serves as the CEO of Blacks in Green™(BIG) – an award-winning economic development organization based in West Woodlawn, Chicago. BIG is a national sustainability network and community wealth building initiative with a vision of creating self-sustaining black communities everywhere. Through advocacy and programs, she conveys the risks of global warming; the health/wealth opportunities of the new green economy; the power of neighbor-led enviro-economic policy and practice; local living economies as greenhouse gas reduction and wealth-building strategies; and the primacy of land ownership. Toward narrowing America’s racial disparities and to usher in an “Age of the Neighbor Investor,” Naomi trains activists and everyday neighbors to lead where they live in establishing “walkable-villages” within “The City of Villages” – where every household can walk-to-work, walk-to-shop, walk-to-learn, walk-to-play. BIG’s West Woodlawn Botanic Garden & Village Farm Initiative is their sustainable-square-mile pilot.
Some key programs, projects, and initiatives include:
* Grannynomics™ and The 8 Principles Green-Village-Building™, authored by and taught by Naomi, are whole-system solutions for the whole-system problems common to black communities everywhere
* Calling My Children Home is BIG’s emerging campaign to resettle middle class black families, empty nesters, millennials, and returning citizens into urban center legacy communities to buffer the nationwide trend of city gentrification;
* Urban Homestead Lifestyle™ – a green, mixed-income housing development led by BIG’s design/build team and planned for 2017 groundbreaking – this project is designed for family types prevalent in black communities and more residents will own, develop, and manage neighborhood properties
* Recruiting and training other BIGs – black leaders in real estate, science, technology, business, and other fields
Naomi was born and raised in St. Albans, NY, and is a graduate of Woodmere Academy County Day School, Fisk University, and John Marshall Law School. She lives in the shade of BIG’s Sustainability Teaching Garden in West Woodlawn, Chicago.