Phillip Davis was born in New Jersey but grew up in Alabama; in 2019, he graduated with a double major in French and international studies from Sewanee: The University of the South (both majors required a semester in Nantes, France). While in college, he bounced around a bit: for two years he contributed to the student paper and the investment team. He mostly moved on as an upperclassman to the executive board of his fraternity, acting as treasurer of the debate team, and working with the campus YDS chapter. After Impact America, he’s not sure, but wants to pursue organizing work in labor/politics or go to grad school for linguistics. 

What do you like to do for fun?

 What I do in my free time changes every so often; I go through phases of a couple months at a time where I get way too into, alternately, learning languages, pool, chess (poorly), reading the news way too much, military history, and whatever else wanders into my attention. Basically I’m genetically engineered to make cocktail party conversation. 

What is your favorite quote from a book, film, or song? 

 I’ve always liked Pat the Bunny’s more optimistic songs, especially « Your heart is a muscle the size of your fist. » Besides his screaming delivery picking me up when I’m feeling down, it’s an incredible expression of positivity that nonetheless isn’t naive or silly. Basically, it means that there can be love and happiness in a world where you also have to struggle; even if you have enemies, you can still chill out and have a good time with your friends. 

Name and describe a memorable place you’ve been.

 I went to the beaches of Normandy, which was pretty crazy. I was only wearing a thin sweatshirt, and it was an incredibly cold and windy winter morning, but I didn’t really notice the cold. The landscape underscored the physicality of history; the ground itself is pockmarked by shell craters and the ocean by the husks of landing vessels from 75 years ago (Who’s gonna go get them?). The place is really impossibly big and grandiose and honestly doesn’t seem like the kind of place humans should be, but somehow people live there and have undertaken enormously complicated and organized projects there, and that has to mean something.