Jennifer Reid Davis
Jennifer Reid Davis is the first Chief Equity Officer of the Noble Network of Charter Schools, serving over 12,000 high school students across Chicago. She moved to Chicago in 2010 to work as the freshman civics teacher at Rauner College Prep, where she served for seven years. She has served as a team leader, advisor, and a network reading instructional leader. Jennifer served as the network’s first diversity recruiter in 2012. She was later named principal of Rauner College Prep in 2013.
In 2015, Jennifer founded the Diverse Leaders Fellowship, a talent pathway at Noble designed to identify Noble’s diverse pipeline of emerging talent, create a sense of belonging through mentorship and cohort-style programming, and provide professional development designed with race & identity at the center. In addition, Jennifer partnered with Noble’s President to author the addition of diversity, equity, & inclusion as a core value at Noble. She has led professional development for over 200 leaders on diversity, race, and equity within the school and workplace. Jennifer was named the director of diversity, equity, and inclusion for the Noble Network in 2017 after leading major initiatives for the organization for several years.
Jennifer was named principal of DRW College Prep in December 2017, where she had a vision of galvanizing top talent and resources, taking DRW College Prep to the next level and making it a staple in the North Lawndale community. While at DRW, Jennifer also led Noble’s first DEI steering committee, which in partnership with Promise54 and FirstGen consultants, crafted Noble’s five-year DEI Strategic Plan in 2019.
Jennifer earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Spelman College. She began her career as a Teach For America corps member in Houston’s Fifth Ward and later earned a master of science in education administration at the University of Pennsylvania. While there, she worked as an intern principal at Northwood Academy. In 2010, she founded her own teen girl empowerment summit, the “I AM SHERO” Summit, serving over 700 girls to date. She is currently pursuing her doctorate from the University of Illinois. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, and an advocate for diverse leadership and equitable school systems at Noble and beyond.
Why do you work at Noble?
I work at Noble because I still believe in our mission and what the children of Chicago deserve. Growing up, education was always a big priority for me. My mother was a single parent, and she instilled in me that a college education would open doors for me and that my education was one thing no one could ever take from me. As a Black woman, those words still ring true for me. Our children in Chicago deserve the best education we can provide them to realize their full potential and be who they want to be in life. There is nothing more noble than that.
Who was your favorite teacher while growing up?
In high school, I took a lot of Advanced Placement classes. Mr. Lambersie, AP English Literature teacher, was fun but tough. He would act out Greek mythology, make us wear costumes, and write the longest papers. I thought I was a good reader because all of my teachers before me told me I was. But Mr. Lambersie wasn’t impressed, and he had very high expectations of me. He pushed me. Gave me hard feedback. But in the end, when I got into Spelman, he cried alongside me. He was proud, and I got to experience how having high academic expectations for your students changes their lives.
Favorite thing about Noble or favorite Noble moment?
In June 2014, I graduated my advisory as their advisor and as their principal. It was a moment that I will forever hold dear to me. What an honor it is to watch 24 beautifully talented students become college graduates and leading young women in their own right. I love them all.
What do you/your department do at Noble?
I am the Chief Equity Officer. In short, I am the organization’s strategist on diversity, equity, and inclusion. I work across the organization to optimize organizational culture and align Noble’s DEI efforts with our mission, vision, and commitment to anti-racism. My team supports strategic collaboration between departments and leadership teams, addresses staff needs for training and development, addresses issues facing specific identity groups, and executes our long-term DEI strategic plan.
Start at Noble?
I started at Noble in August 2010 as the ninth grade civics teacher at Rauner College Prep.
I was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised by my amazing mother in Gary, Indiana.
Spelman College (B.A. in Psychology)
University of Pennsylvania (M.S. in Education Administration)
University of Illinois (Doctoral candidate in Diversity and Equity)
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Jennifer Reid Davis