My Internship With the Nancy Davis Foundation
By Leah Cundiff
For the summer of 2023, I worked as a Development Intern for the Nancy Davis Foundation, a foundation fighting for Reproductive Rights. My journey as a Reproductive Rights Intern started with an aimless search through Tulane databases for something to do over the summer. I knew I wanted to do something meaningful… it was just about finding the right fit. As a sophomore studying Anthropology, I had a vested interest in learning more about the city in which I was attending school. The application to work through the college with a local reproductive rights organization called out to me. After witnessing just how deeply people all over the country were impacted by the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, the fight for reproductive justice resonated with me.
After a lot of emailing back and forth, I was invited to interview for a position with the non-profit organization. I had a phone interview with Nancy Davis and immediately, we were on the same page. My internship working under Nancy Davis wasn’t like anything I’d ever done before. I got to see first-hand what went into community event planning and activist action. Each week, I did tasks on an as-needed basis. One week,I would be busy drafting emails for the Foundation’s outreach, and the next I would be doing grant research or creating posts for the Foundation’s social media. I learned a lot about how the impact of an organization’s image might impact how the organization is received. I gained an even greater appreciation for women like Nancy, who led their communities and encouraged other women to use their voices and advocate for themselves.
More than anything, I value the time I spent learning from a woman as motivated and genuine as Nancy Davis. After being refused an abortion in Louisiana, she had to journey all the way to New York to get the medical care she should have been entitled to. This horrifying ordeal is what inspired activism for reproductive rights and the beginning of the Nancy Davis Foundation. From Nancy, I learned how someone’s pain and vulnerability can be shaped into a new opportunity to help others going through similar experiences. I got to see the collaborative effort non-profits and activists build. Their sense of community and sisterhood as they fight the good fight together, leaning against each other for support in times of need, was awe-inspiring.
I want to thank the Newcomb Institute for giving me the opportunity to meet and collaborate with the Nancy Davis Foundation. I can honestly say the internship gave me a chance to expand my understanding of the world as well as challenge the limitations I placed on myself.