Massage & Bodywork

MAY | JUNE 2023

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96 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k m ay/ j u n e 2 0 2 3 FACES OF BODYWORK Davonna Willis Massage & Bodywork: Tell us about 4 Nineteen Education and how you went f rom practicing to teaching. Davonna Willis: With my masters degree in health education, I taught at Columbia University as part of my job as an athletic trainer. I then got bit by the teaching bug . . . Later, to suit my schedule, I decided to become a CE provider. So I founded 4 Nineteen Education & Training because I'm committed to the development of my colleagues and students and for them to continue with the health and recovery of their clients, athletes, and patients. I'm an advocate for elevating the way massage is perceived so people fully recognize the power of healing in an expert's human touch. M&B: You also are the administrator for the Black Massage Therapists Connection on Facebook. Can you tell us a little bit about this group and how it started? DW: I started the Black Massage Therapists Facebook group in June 2020 during the time of George Floyd and the social unrest in this country. This group was conceptualized and developed because I felt uneasy as a Black massage therapist in a predominantly White community. I noticed there was a void, and I had some concerns and thoughts as a Black massage therapist and business owner. Most of my clientele were White (but empathetic). However, for a while I was known in the Gilbert, Arizona, community as the "Black Massage Therapist." As the Black Massage Therapist group started to grow, I realized I wasn't the only one who felt this way; and the gratitude I've received since starting the group is heartwarming . EL AINE KESLER PHOTOGRAPHY ▲ Queen Creek, Arizona ▲ Owner, 4 Nineteen Education & Training ▲ Davonna took her idea of building community for other Black massage therapists and created the Black Massage Therapist Conference, premiering October 14, 2023. To read more about Davonna and the conference, go to

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