JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — His death sparked outrage across the country and inspired his parents to be change agents. Now ten years later, Jordan Davis’ mother and father reflect on his impact and what’s next.
It was the day after Thanksgiving in 2012. Jordan Davis, a 17-year-old student at Wolfson High School, was shot to death in the parking lot of a Jacksonville gas station by Michael Dunn after an argument. Dunn had asked Davis and his friends to turn down their music.
“I remember on the 23rd I was going to work leaving at 2:30 and he asked me for some money to go to the mall. We hugged and he said, 'Thanks, dad. I love you, Dad,’” Ron Davis recalled. “I said, ‘I love you. Make sure you're home by the time I get home.'”
That was the last time he would ever hear his son’s voice. Jordan died that night. Ron Davis has spent the past decade carrying on his son’s legacy by advocating for youth, organizing community events, and giving back to those in need. That includes a Thanksgiving event at the Clara White Mission to help fill the stomachs of those in need.
“It’s been a long journey. You know, some ups and some downs, and we just do the 10-year anniversary as a thank you to Jacksonville because Jacksonville has been so kind to our family and our movement," Ron Davis said. “I have ten years of stories from probably 30 families a year, and I'm full. I still have to live life. I don't want to die just continuing to do the things that I've done over the last ten years. I've given it ten years of my life. So, I'm done. This is the last hurrah for me.”
He now spends a lot of his time in the Philippines where he continues to help children and families in need in honor of his youngest son.
“The time of mourning is over. We never forget. But to be able to continue to live as Jordan would want us to live and as Jordan would expect us to live,” Representative Lucy McBath, Jordan Davis’ mother, said. “We have to live in celebration and help make sure that there are others that are able to celebrate their families as well.”
McBath embarked on a mission to end gun violence after her only child's death. In 2018, she was elected to her first political office, representing Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.
“We’re not numbers. We're not statistics. We're real, live human beings. And so being able to utilize my voice internally, in the halls of Congress, as a victim, to really implore to people and really impress upon them how important and how critical it is that we pass legislation, meaningful legislation, bipartisan legislation, that saves lives. And I've been able to do that,” McBath said.
“I think ten years later, Jordan's message would be to both his father and to me, well done. Thank you. Thank you for not remaining in the pain. Thank you for taking, you know all of your pain and using it for good for other people, for other children, for other families,” McBath said.
McBath continues to help young black men by providing scholarships through the Champion in the Making Legacy Foundation she started in Jordan’s memory.
And his father says the Jordan Davis Foundation will continue to advocate for youth around the world. His next project is taking him to South Africa where he will continue to build on Jordan’s legacy.
A decade after his death, Jordan is continuing to leave his mark on the First Coast and across the globe.
“I want the people of Jacksonville to continue to remember Jordan in any small way. When you hear loud music, that's Jordan,” Ron Davis said. “When you hear the base go boom, that’s Jordan Davis.”