Join Me in My Sacred Space
WELCOME. This is my fourth blog. And despite my stalled start, the response to my previous post has been amazing. A proper welcome...
Ordained Minister. Preacher. Storyteller. Writer.
Passionate about illuminating stories that feed the soul.
My writing and storytelling roots run deep in the sacred soil of my nomadic family and African American heritage. This is where the seeds of my curiosity as a seeker were sown and my eyes as a seer were opened.
My late parents, children of the Great Depression and the Jim Crow South, passed on the traditions and colorful ancestral stories that nurtured and sustained them. Many of their coming of age stories were marked by the terror and trauma of poverty, white supremacy and world war. At the same time, these stories were gravid with lessons in faith, history, and cultural traditions.
Not only did they provide us with links to understanding the past, they provided insights and tools to navigate the present, and prepare for the future.
Filled with common sense, or as my grandfather called it "Mother Wit," these stories were not without humor, and healing. They had, and still have, the power to heal, restore and edify the soul.
The storytelling tradition and its life lines are needed more than ever today as the ties that bind us across the generations are disrupted and broken.
The stories my parents and other elders shared with us children anchored me during my formative years as my father's military career upended our lives and constantly moved us to different regions of our racially divided country and Europe during the racially turbulent fifties and sixties. Ancestral stories nurtured and sustained me through the many identity crises and feelings of not belonging which haunted me well into my adulthood.
My love of reading, stories, Black history and later writing. proved to be powerful pathways for deep spiritual healing and growth. In the eighties, I struggled through divorce, single-motherhood, trauma and a host of other challenges, including the tragic death of my older brother. Writing not only sustained me, it put food on the table. Somehow, God caused the Universe to conspire on behalf of my pen, my lifelong passion and purpose and opened doors for me in the predominately white, white-male dominated newspaper industry.
I embraced my calling: to be a voice and creative social disruptor. Journalism was my dream job.
After almost 20 years of reporting, editing and later opining the daily news, I received new marching orders from the Divine. My season in newspapers was fruitful but temporal. I had broken a glass ceiling, establishing myself as the first African American and first Black woman editorial page editor at my hometown newspaper in Springfield, Massachusetts.
From there, I was a writer on the editorial board at The Hartford Courant for several years.
I packed my pen and media toolbox and carried them into the 21st century world of nonprofits and philanthropy as a senior leader and communications and marketing executive.
These, and many more, are the experiences, wisdom and tools, I bring to my business and ministry. I founded Davenport Coaching Solutions in 2014 to work with leaders and organizations seeking to have greater impact and power in achieving their missions and goals.
I answered my call to pulpit ministry in 2019, and am an ordained deacon in the African American Episcopal Zion Church.
Every step I take into new territory, outside my comfort zone, teaches me new levels of faith and grace. In a society with limited dreams and spaces for people in my demographic -- female, Black, and over the age of 60 -- God keeps calling me new beginnings.
” Our stories weave our lives together in the Divine fabric of life.”
― Janet Davenport, DIVINEPORT
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