Who to Watch: Davante Lewis
Davante Lewis, 30, has dedicated his life to building power for people and fighting for a more just society. For that, he is one of The Drum's eight persons to watch
Davante Lewis has dedicated his life to building power for people and fighting for a more just society.
As director of public affairs and outreach at the Louisiana Budget Project, Lewis focuses on monitoring legislative developments. He works with advocacy groups and coalition partners to “advance a policy agenda that makes a difference for Louisianans with low and moderate incomes.”
Prior to joining LBP, he was an elementary school teacher in the Coweta County School System in suburban Atlanta. He has worked on multiple campaigns and even was a candidate for school board at 18 years old and recently for Baton Rouge Metro Council in 2020.
The Lake Charles native graduated from McNeese State University with a B.A. in political science. He currently serves on the board of the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault, The Friends of the Capitol Park State Museum, New Leaders Council of Louisiana, and the Foundation for Louisiana’s Truth and Racial Healing Advisory Committee.
Meet Davante Lewis, 30, one of The Drum’s eight persons to watch in 2022.
Moves Made: Became a first-time homeowner, ran for East Baton Rouge Metro Council, was appointed to the Friends of the Capitol Park Museum, and appointed to the Steering Committee of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities State Priorities Partnership.
What to expect in 2022 from you: In 2022, the main focus will center around race and how racism plays a role in our society. We will also face many economic challenges facing Americans in the face of COVID-19. The child tax credit, paid leave, wages, and workplace conditions will be the major focus and I plan to work on these issues. I will be focusing on helping protect and fix student loan debt for people.
Personal resolution for 2022: To give myself grace with my time, my goals, and my work.
Life/business motto: Passion without action is a wasted emotion
Business resolution: To center people and their lives in public policy
What is your #1 priority? Right now, I am focused on ensuring the voices of Black and Brown people are uplifted in redistricting and in voting rights from the local to congressional level. The “democracy” is in danger and worsening until we allow everyone to fully participate in our systems.
Best advice you’ve ever received? To live life to the fullest so when you die you have given all you can and will die empty.
What do you want people to remember/know most about you? That I lived by Micah 6:8 to act justly, love mercifully, and that I walked humbly with God
Role Models: Fannie Lou Hamer, Sidney Poitier, Congressman John Lewis, James Baldwin
What has been a deciding moment or an experience that pushed you forward--especially during the coronavirus pandemic? The deciding moment for me was the stark racial disparities in death at the beginning of the pandemic. This pushed me to recommit to the work of working towards a more just and equitable society for us all.
What music are you listening/dancing to? Maverick City Limits’ Jubilee, Jasmine Sullivan, H.E.R, Lucky Daye
What are you reading? Dorothy Brown’s the Whiteness of Wealth and Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
What’s entertaining you? I am a big fan of Succession, Euphoria, Survivor, Abbot Elementary, and In the Dark podcast
Social media: @davantelewis