Empowerment lies in information, faith and vulnerability for NBC10 news anchor Tracy Davidson, who spoke to a crowd of professionals Monday night at Pizza by Elizabeths. The Emmy-Award winning journalist, who typically rises at 1:30 a.m., stayed up “late” to take part in the spring 2015 Great Dames Powerful Conversation Series.
The evening was particularly celebratory for Davidson because she finished her last radiation treatment for breast cancer earlier that day.
Davidson, who has been a journalist for 30 years, believes in the old adage that knowledge is power. She is proud that her job helps empower others and walked the crowd through a timeline of her typical workday: After waking at 1:30 a.m. – “It only hurts till the first cup of coffee,” she joked – she begins her morning with quiet time and prayer. Davidson then scans online websites to find out the latest news. By 2:30 a.m., she’s at the Philly news station and on the air at 4 a.m. to share the latest Philadelphia-area news with the community.
But anchoring the news is just one aspect of Davidson’s life. She talked much about faith, gratitude and giving Monday night. Here are the big takeaways from Davidson’s inspiring talk:
Don’t be afraid to have faith.
Local news is generally not happy news, and to combat the sadness of news reports, Davidson said she and colleagues Vai Sikahema and Chris Cato end their workday with a prayer, especially for those touched by the stories they just reported. “That keeps us hopeful, and that’s how we get through,” she said.
Gratitude leads to happiness.
Gratitude, Davidson said, is how she and her co-workers always end their prayers. It’s hard to have a bad day, she said, when you take a minute to be grateful.
That positive attitude, along with faith, helped Davidson get through her battle with breast cancer, she said, and acknowledged her deep appreciation for family, friends, co-workers and health insurance. “Blessings on top of blessings.”
Vulnerability and bravery bring strength.
Davidson’s struggle with cancer also taught her a lesson in vulnerability and bravery. She was surprised to learn they’re closely linked. Swallowing your pride and asking for help gives others “the gift of them being able to help you,” she said. Being vulnerable also opens the door to being closer with other people, she said, mentioning that in doing so, she often found a common bond with others.
Another form of bravery she shared is opening your eyes to the struggles, however small, of the people you daily encounter and lending a hand. Such courage, she said, requires confidence, a trait she knows women are often apt to shelve. She advised women to strengthen their confidence through practice and action, which, of course, links back to bravery.
“Say what you mean, and mean what you say,” Davidson said to great applause.
Give for the sake of giving.
The phrase “giving back” grates on Davidson’s nerves, because she said a spirit of giving shouldn’t solely depend on what you’ve been given. Davidson is involved in three major causes: domestic violence centers, because she said she grew up with domestic violence in her home; Philabundance, in hopes of ending hunger in the Philadelphia area; and March of Dimes, because she believes in giving babies born the size of a dollar bill a chance at life.
Davidson said throughout her journalism career, she has mentored several news interns and hopes she has imparted on them, above all, a spirit of giving.
The final installment of the Great Dames’ Powerful Conversation Series features women writers on May 11.