This week Tonya Lewis Lee—producer, film director, writer, entrepreneur, women’s health advocate and Founder of Movita Organics—discusses her mission to share culturally relevant stories that inspire people to take action, her mindset to find positivity in everything, and her non-negotiables. She takes us deeper on a journey of understanding the importance of a healthy lifestyle and how her work as a film producer to address the maternal and infant mortality crises led her to embark on a new entrepreneurial path. Tonya credits her team for the launch and growth of Movita Organics, a premium vitamin supplement brand, saying that “Team is Everything.” Through Movita Organics, she is leading the conversation around womens’ access to healthy outcomes as well as providing the community with a high-quality resource to aid their well-being and overall vitality.
Tonya leaves us with several key lessons:
- “Be as excellent as you can be”
- “Patience is important”
- “Collaboration is the name of the game”
- “Being an entrepreneur is being a problem-solver, so you just need to show up and solve to the problem every day”
- “You have to run your race and be who you are”
- “Never give up. Just at that moment when you’re about to give up is when it happens.
Bio: Tonya Lewis Lee is a producer, film director, writer, entrepreneur, and women’s health advocate, delivering meaningful content that resonates with marginalized communities for over twenty years. Her work often explores the personal impact of social justice issues, health and wellness. Most recently, Lee co-directed and co-produced the documentary AFTERSHOCK, now streaming on Hulu, which examines the Black and Brown maternal mortality crisis in America. The film premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, winning the Special Jury Award for Impact for Change, and continues to garner rave reviews and noteworthy press. As a film and television writer, producer, and director, her work has spanned family-friendly features like The Watsons Go to Birmingham as well as the episodic series She’s Gotta Have It, streaming on Netflix. Lee also produced Monster, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and is streaming on Netflix. In 2007, Tonya became the spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health’s infant mortality awareness campaign, A Healthy Baby Begins with You, which ignited her lifelong passion of advocating for better health outcomes for all women in the United States, especially women of color. Through the campaign, Tonya produced the film Crisis in the Crib: Saving our Nation’s Babies. This work led Tonya to embark on her journey as an entrepreneur to create Movita Organics, a premium vitamin supplement brand, to continue the conversation with women about accessing healthy outcomes and provide them with a high-quality resource to aid their well-being and overall vitality. An acclaimed author, Lee created books, including Please, Baby, Please, that have entertained children and young adults throughout her career.Lee has been featured in notable outlets including ABC’s Nightline, CBS Mornings, New York Magazine’s The Cut, ESSENCE, VOGUE, and more. She is the mother of two adult children and lives in New York City with her husband, Spike Lee.
“It takes time. An overnight success is at least 10 years in the making.”
Tune in to learn more from Kendra and Tonya!
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