Naomi Davis is an urban theorist, attorney, activist, and proud granddaughter of Mississippi sharecroppers. She is the founder and CEO of BIG: Blacks in Green™- a national green community economic development network launched in 2007 and based in Chicago. She is a pioneer and continuing innovator in empowering urban communities to choose green solutions for sustainable development.
Attorney Davis draws upon the strong heritage of her forbears to offer a course she calls Grannynomics/The Conservation Lifestyle™ and its emerging “urban homestead” mixed-use real estate developments. She authored and teaches The 8 Principles of Green-Village-Building™ – training activists and everyday neighbors to lead where they live in establishing “walkable-villages” within a “City of Villages” – where every household can walk-to-work, walk-to-shop, walk-to-learn, walk-to-play.
BIG’s first green-village-building pilot – in Chicago’s historic West Woodlawn – aims to restore the former framework of neighbor-owned businesses and neighbor-owned buildings as a local living economy, needed now more than ever as a greenhouse gas reduction strategy. She has taught Grannynomics ™ and Green-Village-Building™ as an open enrollment three-semester course at the University of Chicago/Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, and in shorter formats – one week, full- and half-day workshops, as well as in one-hour and keynote lengths for schools, organizations, churches, and events across the country.
Attorney Davis is a Green For All Fellow and a certified teacher of the environmental literacy curriculum, Roots of Success. Her leadership of BIG™ has been recognized with Governor Quinn’s 2007 Environmental Hero Award; the 2008 Chicago Magazine Green Award; the 2009 Jewel ‐ Osco Environmental Stewardship Prize, and the 2010 Ebony Magazine Power100. In 2011 she served on Chicago’s Mayoral Transition Team for Energy, Environment, and Public Space, and was among 100 international thought leaders at Groupon’s First Annual Chicago Ideas Week. She received ComEd’s Power of One Community Heroes Award in 2014.
Attorney Davis maintains a strong connection to the pulse of her urban community and successful projects. She lives across the street from BIG’s first Sustainability Teaching Garden of their square-mile sustainability plan, “The West Woodlawn Botanic Garden & Village Farm Initiative.”