by Kay Smith
Sandy Davenport – Advocate for Justice
Sandy Davenport came to Tucson as a result of her partner’s health need to live in the desert climate. And what good fortune that has been for Tucson! She was motivated to address human needs and provide advocacy which prompted her to pursue a Master’s degree in Social Work. This also paralleled her life’s philosophy of “Remain calm, nurture yourself so that you can nurture others and seek justice.” And this is what she did for over 20 years in her career.
Sandy provided advocacy at Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital and created a routine domestic violence screening that even included LGBTQ+ people. This screening is still in use today in E.Rs. Another advocacy position she held was as the director of the Tucson Women’s Commission where she advocated for pay equity and other social justice issues. Before retiring Sandy worked at Pima Council on Aging (PCOA) addressing advocacy, providing forums, and working on housing issues. While at PCOA, she founded Project Visibility—a program that continues today as Visibility Matters and has provided diversity training for the needs of LGBTQ++ individuals in healthcare settings for 10 years.
Although Sandy is now retired she continues her lifetime work of advocacy. Currently she volunteers with the NAACP’s Criminal Justice Committee to eliminate the “cash bail” problem in AZ which keeps people from lower socio-economic groups incarcerated for long periods of time prior to their trial dates. She also serves on the League of Women Voters’ educational forum that is working with national experts to provide a forum on “Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation”.
For relaxation and regeneration Sandy enjoys meditation, gardening, yoga, painting, friends, going to the ocean and playing with her kitten “Francesco”. Her hope for the future is that there will be a cultural shift for the world to reverse and heal the effects of toxic patriarchy that damages the earth and all who live here. Her hopes for our Tucson community include that Senior Pride will continue their outstanding work which also supports LGBTQ+ housing needs. She also dreams of a community center when we can all gather safely again.