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Belva Davis honored for her Trail-Blazing Contributions to Journalism and Equality

Images by Drew Altizer

Belva Davis is a widely admired, award-winning journalist and successful author, but she is more than the sum of her considerable achievements and professional career milestones. From growing up in the housing projects of Oakland, Ms. Davis went on to play a unique role in her pioneering work as the first African-American woman hired as a television news reporter on the West Coast.

Ms. Davis received an honorary doctorate today from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco during the commencement ceremony for the Academy’s MFA, MA and M.ARCH graduate degree programs. Over 700 Academy graduate students participated in today’s ceremony. President Dr. Elisa Stephens, who presented the honorary doctorate to Ms. Davis, says, “Belva Davis sets a tremendous example to all of us of what is possible to accomplish. We appreciate how Belva has enriched the lives of many of us in the Bay Area, for decades.”

Ms. Davis says, “Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so. These are words that guided and comforted me on my long road to a broadcast career, and I still find them valuable.”

Ms. Davis’s book, Never in My Wildest Dreams: A Black Woman’s Life in Journalism, chronicles her long and successful career, while serving as an inspiration for professional and aspiring journalists, women and African-Americans. Making her television debut in 1963 on KTVU, Ms. Davis went on to anchor news programs at KPIX-TV, KQED Public Television and KRON-TV, in addition to 19 years as host of This Week in Northern California before retiring in 2012. Ms. Davis continues to be very active in the greater Bay Area as a labor activist, board member for community non-profits, and supporter of cultural institutions.

For more information visit http://newsfeed.academyart.edu/