theGrio’s 100: Tonya Lewis Lee, producer, author, and advocate for women’s health
Who is Tonya Lewis Lee?
Tonya Lewis Lee, 47, from New York City, is the editor-in chief of the website HealthyYouNow.com. Originally a corporate lawyer, Lee transitioned into the producer role, founding her own multimedia company, Madstone Company, Inc.
Madstone’s first clients were Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite, where for many years it produced Black History Month programming featuring various artists including Gregory Hines, Savion Glover, Whoopi Goldberg and Queen Latifah.
Lee is also an accomplished author, beginning with her first children’s book, Please Baby Please with her husband, Spike Lee. She has since written Giant Steps.
Lee has written for magazines such as Avenue, Gotham, O at Home and Glamour. She contributed two campaign trail interviews with Michelle Obama to Glamour Magazine. Also, she has served as a consultant to ABC News, appeared on Lifetime television and CNN.
In addition to her stellar achievements and activism she is also on the board of directors of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
She lives in New York City with her husband, and her two children, ages 17 and 15.
Why is she on theGrio 100’s?
Since 2010, Lee has served as the national spokesperson for “A Healthy Baby Begins With You,” an infant mortality campaign with the United States Office of Minority Health.
She also produced Crisis in the Crib: Saving Our Nation’s Babies, a documentary film about the campaign and its related Preconception Peer Educator program.
Through her work, Lee has traveled the country speaking to women about making healthy lifestyle choices and increasing the chances of healthy birth outcomes in spite of the high rates of infant mortality that affect black women. The Congressional Black Congress recognized Lee’s work by giving her the 2009 Congressional Black Caucus Health Brain Trust Award.
Lee attributes her interest in health from working on the infant mortality project. “Raising awareness about infant mortality sparked my interest in working on women’s health in general,” says Lee.
HealthyYouNow.com, a website community and online magazine dedicated to supporting women of color on their journey to achieve an optimal lifestyle of health and awareness, was born. Women can visit the site and read other women’s journeys as well as the latest women’s health news and expert opinions.
What’s next for Lewis Lee?
Lee is currently working with new partners to develop products that will make staying healthy easier for everybody.
Follow her on twitter at healthyunow, or on Instagram: healthyyounow.