Meet Kiko Davis: The only Black woman in the U.S. who owns a bank

Mohammed Awal January 18, 2020
Image credit: Rolling Out

Kiko Davis has always known she would be working multiple capacities because she held many interests while growing up.

The founder and President of Don Davis Legacy Foundation established in 2016 to continue the legacy and the initiatives of her late husband, Davis, 49, is the majority shareholder of Detroit-based First Independence Bank – one of the top 10 largest Black-owned banks in the United States.

This makes her the only Black woman in the United States who owns a bank, according to Black Business.

True to the opening paragraph of this article apropos – working multiple capacities – Davis is also the managing director of Groonvesville Production and Publishing LLC which controls the Grammy Award-winning music catalog of her late husband – Don Davis. He was an American record producer, songwriter, and guitarist who combined a career in music and one in banking.

Speaking to Rolling Out, on her feat, Davis said women of color have an innate warrior spirit that “makes us inherently effective at leading and at winning.”

According to her, strength, courage, intelligence and analytical ability are hallmarks of any great leader; however, a warrior spirit goes beyond just that. 

“We possess a level of empathy for people in general with a higher level of sensitivity towards women and minorities. Often times, it’s a skill set that unfortunately some men and non-minorities do not possess. They simply are socialized differently. I believe in order to lead people effectively you must be able to understand them, or at least want to,” she told Rolling Out.

Davis has three success habits she goes by daily – pray, eat healthily and exercise in the morning. 

Going through those give her the energy to face the day and any challenges that may present itself along the way.

“I also make sure I surround myself with positive like-minded people every day. Even Wonder Woman has moments of weakness, that’s when she calls for back up from her Super Friends! Always make sure your circle is energized and prepared to battle evil!” she stated.

According to her, what makes her unique as an African American female leader, is her ability to genuinely connect with people and inspire a culture of synergy.

“It’s a God-given talent that comes naturally,” Davis mentioned. “People tend to lend the very best of themselves when they feel leaders are passionate about them and their environment.”

Asked why it is important for seasoned and experienced Black women to reach back and help younger women of color, Davis replied:I believe in the adage: ‘To whom much is given, much is required.’ I believe giving back is the rent you pay for occupying a seat at the table of success. 

“Just like an apartment, if you don’t pay your rent, you can be evicted. More than being the right thing to do, it empowers you.”

“Helping others reach their full potential adds more to your life than anyone could ever take away. Everyone needs a good mentor or teacher to guide them on their journey to greatness. Plus, it just down-right feels good,” she added.

Davis opined she is greatly inspired by Shirley Chisolm, the first Black congresswoman and the first major-party Black candidate to run for president in 1972. 

“I want to thank her for being fearless. She faced intense racism, bigotry, misogyny, and even several assassination attempts, all for the platform of equality, education, and justice. One of my favorite quotes by Chisolm is, “In the end, anti-Black, anti-female, and all forms of discrimination are equivalent to the same thing: anti-humanism,” she said.

Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: January 18, 2020


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