Rev. Elizabeth Davidson
My connection to Faith In Women has long been intertwined with my calling as a United Methodist pastor. In fact, I met Ashley and first heard about the mission and vision of Faith In Women when we were both just beginning in 2015, at a booth they hosted at my very first Annual Conference of the Mississippi United Methodist Conference where I was commissioned as a deacon. In my tradition, deacons are fully ordained clergy who are called to equip and engage the faith community through “Word, service, justice, and compassion.” Working as part of the rich ecosystem of organizations and individuals who have long been fighting for reproductive justice in Mississippi, and particularly working to educate and empower people of faith to embrace this work as part of their discipleship, wonderfully fulfills this calling in ways I couldn’t have imagined at the start of my ministry. I do this work because bodily autonomy is essential to wellbeing– to knowing that we are safe and loved– and as Christians we have no higher calling than to love our neighbors through our work as well as our words.
Founding Executive Director
I began Faith in Women in 2015, inspired by two major influences: my education and career in community nutrition and health, and my faith. I was raised in the United Methodist Church, surrounded by women of deep faith – my pastor, youth leader, church mothers, and my own mother. I didn’t know at the time how lucky I was to learn from them that I have sacred worth as a woman. They also taught me my body is my own. Trusting women to make the best decisions for ourselves and our families, including choosing abortion, is an important part of affirming our sacred worth. When our bodily autonomy is honored and we all have what we need to thrive – food, clean air and water, healthcare, childcare, housing, living wages – we get closer to “beloved community” (“on Earth, as it is in Heaven” in Christian language.) That’s why I do this work.
Faith in Women works with clergy leaders, lay leadership and congregation members, and any person who engages their spirituality in the pursuit of social justice.
We have opportunities designed especially for clergy such as pastors, priests, and rabbis. Other events are geared toward church or community leaders other than ordained and staff leadership. Even so, most of our work is inclusive of any and all who seek Reproductive Justice regardless of position or status.
In our community, every person is an important actor in securing reproductive dignity and human rights.
We’re continually grateful for our community. So many individuals, partners, organizations, and foundations have made our work possible since 2015 through education, partnership, networking, and funding. Here are a few, and we hope you’ll take some time to check them out!
Partners and Friends in Mississippi and the Southeast
- Teen Health Mississippi
- Planned Parenthood Southeast
- Faith Matters Network
- Center for Ministry at Millsaps
- Mississippi Low Income Childcare Initiative
- Moore Community House
- Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable
- Mississippi Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
- Delta Hands for Hope
- Growing Up Knowing
- Converge Partners in Access
- Louisiana Public Health Institute
- Six Dimensions Consulting