Rise Up Conference

Kendra Tankersley-Davis
Kendra Tankersley-Davis
Crittenton Services for Children and Families
Kendra Tankersley-Davis
Kendra Tankersley-Davis has worked with at risk children and families, who because of complex trauma are involved in the child welfare, probation or mental health systems or unaccompanied minors for eighteen years. She has worked within the area of Human Trafficking supporting survivors in transitioning out of the life, educating communities, teaching preventative methods, and providing advocacy for sixteen years. Kendra has also provided parenting education and participated in course and program development within the areas of Human Trafficking, Family Violence, Parenting and Cultural Humility and Competency. Kendra has presented and paneled for various organizations including, Charles Drew University, Cal State Long Beach, Vanguard University, The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, The Department of Children and Family Services, Waymakers, various school districts, faith-based communities, and nonprofit organizations. Kendra leads the JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Committee within her organization. Kendra has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Family and Human Development; she is currently a Vice President at Crittenton Services for Children and Families, as well as an adjunct professor at Vanguard University.


We Are the World, Coming Together to Help Heal from Hate and Judgement
In the current times we are living in, there seems to be a great divide. We are experiencing what seems to be higher or at minimum increased visibility, of hate crimes against various religious communities, ethnic groups and those working to migrant to the United States, including unaccompanied minors. Many of our clients who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ Community have shared recent negative experiences they are having while trying to acquire employment or just by being. We have staff that have experienced fat shaming, racism, and homophobia. As an agency we have been targeted by hate because of the clients that we serve, in particular unaccompanied minors. As a result of the diversity of those we serve, as well as the staff working within our agency, our JEDI (Justice, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) Team has implemented supportive techniques for both staff as well as clients, for example the development of JEDI Cultural Corner a monthly newsletter that focuses on cultural information relevant to the month and/or that highlights a specific culture we may be working with, creating safe spaces for staff to share experiences that they or their clients may be experiencing and working together to engage in effective, supportive, healthy problem solving. This has allowed us to learn more about those we serve, and ourselves. As a result of the challenges our clients, as well as our staff have experienced, we have gained knowledge and expertise over many years, in supporting clients and each other, in overcoming the painful experience of judgement, hate and a lack of understanding. We will share effective techniques and supports that can be implemented to assist those who work within communities, in addressing societal challenges many our facing, whether it is a direct or indirect experience through social media, news, etc. We will also discuss techniques that agencies can use to best support staff as the navigate these difficult times as well.