Born in Louisville, KY, Shavontana Davis has always been a beacon of light to all who know her. Affectionately known as Starr since birth, having experienced moments of darkness, she resolved to shine her light. Starr’s tumultuous upbringing made her resilient, passionate, and caring.
Starr earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Florida State University and a Juris Doctor degree from North Carolina Central University School of Law. In 2021 Starr was named one of ten L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth Honorees and she authored The Abuse Algorithm: Lessons in Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse. Starr has created curricula and trained youth, the community, and professionals on the indicators of child sexual exploitation. A former assistant public defender who represented adult and child victims of sexual abuse and exploitation, Starr married her knowledge of the law with her love for helping children and youth.
Driven by the desire to positively shape the lives of others, and to create a world where young people avoid, and not simply recover from abuse, led to the creation of The Starr Institute, Inc. (TSI). TSI is a nonprofit organization committed to educate, engage, and empower youth and the community about child sexual abuse and exploitation. To do this, TSI offers interactive, culturally relevant, age-appropriate workshops for youth aged 12-17 and adults who support them.
Since 2017, more than 3000 youth and adults have participated in TSI’s awareness, prevention, and life skills programming. Another 700 people across 32 states and 3 countries have raised funds to supports TSI’s efforts through its annual ReDiscover YOUR Light 5K Run+Walk. In 2021, Starr was recognized as one of ten L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth Honorees and published her first book, The Abuse Algorithm: Lessons in Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse.
Starr has tackled her role as a family woman with the same fortitude as the founder of TSI; when she is not working, she enjoys nothing more than spending time with her husband, son, and daughter.