Davis Named CHHSM’s Engagement Coordinator

Dr. Zaria Davis

The UCC Council for Health and Human Service Ministries (CHHSM) has selected Zaria Davis, D.S.W., M.Div., as its new engagement coordinator. She began in her new role Feb. 1, 2024. Davis is a former CHHSM Rev. Jerry Paul Scholar (2022-2023) and current member of CHHSM’s first-ever Emerging Leadership Cohort.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Zaria Davis to the CHHSM team,” said Jamar Doyle, president and CEO of CHHSM. “As a current member of CHHSM’s Emerging Leader Cohort and a CHHSM Fellow, Zaria has already proven herself as a dedicated advocate and leader. Her wealth of experience, especially in leadership development and restorative justice, will undoubtedly enrich our membership and further our mission at CHHSM. I look forward to the positive impact she will continue to make on both our team and in the communities we serve.”

Among Davis’ duties is leading the planning and coordination of CHHSM’s Affinity Groups, clusters of CHHSM-member executives and staff that meet together regularly. The groups are organized geographically and by the types of services provided.

“Working with the Affinity Groups and expanding our membership is important to me,” said Davis. “I look forward to setting up time with CHHSM agencies, visiting locations, and identifying what is working and ways we may better support them.”

Davis said her evolving history with CHHSM spurred her interest in becoming part of the CHHSM team. While at Eden Theological Seminary in Webster Groves, Mo., she found CHHSM and applied to be the CHHSM Scholar.

“When I applied to the Jerry Paul Scholar’s Program, I was still discerning my call,” she said. “I had just taken a class at Eden called ‘Discernment when you are not called to preach’ when I learned about the opportunity. I realized there was a place in the UCC for my knowledge and skills that was aligned with my ministry and purpose. I knew that I wanted to be engaged with the organization — regardless of whether I was selected or not — because it was aligned with who I am.”

In addition to working with the Affinity Groups, Davis also will promote CHHSM, its programs, and members within the wider church; build and maintain relationships with CHHSM membership, covenantal partners, the UCC national settings, and corporate partners; and work in conjunction with the rest of the CHHSM staff team.

With her background in social work, Davis believes she has gifts that will enable her to excel as engagement coordinator. “My experience in social services and the nonprofit space will give me an opportunity to meet our agencies where they are and work with them to further improve their internal and external engagement,” she added. “My goal is to support the current staff, to educate more of our UCC congregations about the various CHHSM offerings, and to engage with UCC staff.”

Davis looks at her time in CHHSM’s leadership programs as vital to her call because she was able to “learn about the organization, to serve members, to attend meetings, and to get to know the board,” she said. “In addition, I was a part of the Nollau Leadership Institute, which is an amazing program that brings together diverse voices.”

Most of all, Davis is looking forward to her work with her CHHSM colleagues and, especially, “learning and developing ways to better support them and any prospective members,” she added. The CHHSM staff “is a small but mighty team that supports one another, and I am excited to contribute to the work.”

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