I am so excited to introduce you to two amazing people that make up one extraordinary couple: Yancie Davis and Amber Bundy-Davis. I had the distinct pleasure of working with this power couple during my tenure at BUILD, an organization dedicated to proving the power of experiential learning through entrepreneurship, and igniting the potential of youth in under-resourced communities. Amber and Yancie met while attending the University of California, Berkeley and have both dedicated their lives, professionally and personally, to serving underrepresented populations.
Their individual commitments to service are certainly worthy of their own Parents Who Inspire post, but together they are truly a force to behold within the communities they support. Yancie and Amber are also setting an incredible example for their two young children by incorporating service into their family life. Without further ado, let’s get to know them.
Tell us a little about yourself:
Amber: I am the Assistant Director, African American Diversity Coordinator for Undergraduate Admissions at UC Berkeley. I am originally from East Palo Alto, California.
Yancie: I am the Admissions Counselor, Diversity Outreach at Stanford University. I’m originally from Oakland, California. We have two children, Ayan and Onyx Bundy-Davis and currently reside in Hayward, California.
As a parent, what’s your favorite part about living in your city?
Amber: We love that the area in Hayward we live in is safe and has great parks and amenities near us. It is also a midpoint between our jobs. It also allows us to be close to family which we have relied on for support.
Yancie: I like that we are in a city. There are so many opportunities for our kids to be culturally enriched, but also opportunities for me and Amber to engage, have fun, and recharge our batteries so that we can go back and give our full energy to our children.
What are your passion projects or in what ways do you engage with your local or national community?
Amber: I’m involved in my sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., where I am part of our Community Health Committee and our step team. I also help out the collegiate members on campus at UC Berkeley as often as I can. I eventually would like to utilize my masters degree in Counseling Psychology to counsel couples as well as families. I volunteer as a rape crisis counselor.
Yancie: I am part of a Greek life as well. I’m a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. But I volunteer my time for college access opportunities as they arise. I am also a part-time graphic designer, providing design services for non-profits and small businesses. A major commitment for me is serving as the President of the Youth Advisory Committee (a junior board) for the East Oakland Youth Development Center.
What’s your favorite part of your civic engagement activities?
Amber: Because both of us work with students and in higher education, many of the things that we fight for revolve around educational justice and rights. We are both heavily involved in equity and inclusion work as well. Our favorite part of our civic engagement would have to be seeing a difference in the treatment of people of color. I personally have a commitment to seeing sexual assault decrease and eventually become non existent. In the work that I do, I fight for those who are marginalized and not always considered in policies. This includes women, people of color, the LGBTQ community and the disabled population.
Yancie: Connecting with others, knowing that you can be of service to people, and specifically watching youth pursue their passions and cultivate a genuine excitement and hope for life.
What inspires you to engage in these activities?
Amber: My frustration with complacency and the hope for a better world for me and my children inspires me. Also knowing that I can do exactly what I want to do in life and it is okay, especially if at the end of the day I am happy and don’t embarrass my family (lol).
Yancie: We’ve been blessed to be where we are in our lives, considering the communities which we come from. Giving back is an honor. It’s a reminder of that blessing. It’s great to see your people achieve, especially if you know the obstacles they face. Any time someone from your community can be great and accomplish something, it benefits everyone.
Any words of wisdom for parents wanting to create space for civic engagement in their own busy lives?
Amber: Think about the world that you want for your children. It is our responsibilities as parents to shape the world that is best for them. Keep them in mind and you will know what needs to be done and what is right. Stay true to you and always think about what you would be proud of if you were your child looking up at you.
Yancie: Our children learn most about what is right and wrong from us as parents. If we are doing our duties as parents, then hopefully our children will be in a place where they’ve been given good lives and struggle less than we did as children. Therefore, our children can give back in turn, because they are able to.
Amazing, right? I am so honored to feature Amber and Yancie as the first Parents Who Inspire couple. They inspire me as individuals and parents in so many ways. Amber and Yancie have prioritized community service in their professional and family lives. Even though I now live across the country, thanks to Facebook, I get to watch them take their children to Pride parades, volunteer days hosted by their fraternity and sorority and much much more. Amber and Yancie advocate for youth in their 9-5 jobs, so I’m always moved to see them spending their free time, with their kids in tow, at diverse functions that support the causes for which they deeply care.
The two hashtags that come to mind when I think of Amber and Yancie are #relationshipgoals and #familygoals. They serve as a great model for how to give back individually and as a family. So inspiring!