In 2012, nine years after the conclusion of his professional football career, former NFL player Wade Davis announced he was gay. Since then, he has since become an ardent advocate, writer and public speaker on race, gender and orientation equity.

He brings his passion for these issues to center stage as the headliner for Montana State University Billings' Power of One Week, which is designed to raise awareness, according to a university news release.

Events run Jan. 18-26 with Davis' special keynote address at 7 p.m. on Jan. 20 in Petro Theater on the university campus.

“The week is all about defying the gender binary,” event organizer Lacey Solheid said in a prepared statement. “The events will focus on confronting the limitations of gender classification into just two distinct forms of masculine and feminine. Gender isn’t about blue and pink.”

Since coming out, Davis has become an advocate for the gay community with programs such as the You Can Play project, the You Belong Initiative and the Hendrick-Martin Institute, an organization set up to create an environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth between the ages of 13 and 24 and their families, according to the release.

Davis’ writings and interviews have appeared in numerous publications, including President Barack Obama’s White House blog. He also served as the LGBT surrogate for Obama during the 2012 presidential election.

In the early 2000s, Davis played for the Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks as well as two teams within the NFL Europe.

The Power of One week will begin with the national bell ringing ceremony on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 18, beginning at 9:50 a.m., at Peaks to Plains Park followed by a reception featuring community activist Eran Thompson, campus minister Rob Kirby and the Rev. Stacy Siebrasse of First English Lutheran Church.



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