“I tell people all the time, it’s not about your past, or what you’ve been through, it’s where you are going. My grandmother would say – I thank God I don’t look like what I’ve been through. I share that with people all the time.”
Daffany Baker is a remarkable individual whose life journey has led her to become an inspiring force for change and empowerment. As the Vice President of Domestic Violence Services for YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee, she is dedicated to making a meaningful impact on the lives of those affected by domestic violence. Daffany’s personal story of resilience and her unwavering commitment to service define her character.
After experiencing a challenging divorce, she decided to move closer to her family and start anew in Nashville. Working two to three jobs to support herself and her family initially, the former elementary school teacher found work at the Tennessee Prison for Women, where she worked in various roles, including Associate Warden for Treatment. It was during this time that she encountered numerous women who had been victims of domestic violence, a stark reminder of her own experiences.
Daffany’s decision to join the YWCA was deeply rooted in her personal values and experiences. She is not just an advocate for change; she is a survivor herself. Her journey from adversity to empowerment fuels her dedication to the YWCA’s mission. She firmly believes that education is the key to ending domestic violence, emphasizing that it goes beyond physical abuse and encompasses a wide range of issues.
One of Daffany’s significant achievements is the transformation of the 65-bed Weaver Center. When she first arrived, the shelter faced staffing challenges and high turnover rates. Daffany recognized the importance of creating a supportive and healthy work environment. Her efforts have resulted in improved stability, increased dedication among staff, and a more supportive atmosphere for the clients they serve.
Beyond her professional role, Daffany is a mother of four children who keep her grounded. She is also a passionate motivational speaker, sharing her story of overcoming obstacles to inspire others. Her journey has even led her to found the Pretty Firecracker Foundation, where she gives back to those previously incarcerated, helping them overcome barriers they face upon release.
Daffany’s faith is a guiding light in her life, and she strives to live a life that reflects her beliefs. Her deep sense of spirituality, instilled by her family from an early age, strengthens her resolve to make a positive impact on the world.
On October 7, Daffany will be recognized by the Nashville Coalition to End Domestic Violence as Survivor of the Year during the annual Meet Us at the Bridge event to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Despite her humility, this recognition speaks to her dedication and the profound impact she has had on the lives of countless individuals.
Daffany Baker’s story is a testament to the power of resilience, faith, and service. She embodies the spirit of transformation, showing that one’s past does not define their future and that there are better days ahead. Through her work, she is creating a brighter future for survivors of domestic violence and inspiring change in her community.