Member Profile: Tonya Lewis Lee
Tonya Lewis Lee Esq. was just named one of the 21 Leaders for the 21st Century by Womens eNews, and recently completed Crisis in the Crib: Saving Our Nation's Babies, a documentary about the infant mortality crisis in the African-American community. The Congressional Black Caucus recognized Lee's work by giving her the 2009 Congressional Black Caucus Health Brain Trust Award.
Lee is the founder of her own multi-media 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.
In 2002, Mrs. Lee co-authored her first children's book, Please Baby Please, with her husband Spike Lee. She also produced the animated Just for Me interstitial Please Baby Please, and in 2005 continued the series with a follow-up book entitled, Please Puppy Please. Her latest children's book, Giant Steps, will be released by Simon & Schuster in 2011. Her work as the Executive Producer of the 2004 documentary film, I Sit Where I Want: The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education, for Noggin/The N garnered Beacon and Parent's Choice Awards. That same year Lee released her first novel, the national bestseller, Gotham Diaries. Mrs. Lee also served as the Executive Producer for Miracle's Boys, a television mini-series for Noggin/The N which was received to wide-spread critical acclaim. She was also Executive Producer for the TVLAND three-part special, That's What I'm Talking About.
Outspoken on the issues of women and race, 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, Good Morning America, and on CNN. For the past two years Mrs. Lee has served as the national spokesperson for the A Healthy Baby Begins with You campaign, initiated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. She has also been an integral part of creating the Preconception Peer Educators program, designed to encourage college students to become health advocates.
In December 2009, Mrs. Lee, through Madstone Company Inc, launched HealthyYouNow.com, a website dedicated to supporting women, particularly women of color, on their journey to achieve an optimal lifestyle of health and wellness.
Mrs. Lee also serves as Vice Chairman of the board of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, as a board member of the Creative Coalition, and as a member of the advisory board of Children for Children.
Mrs. Lee lives in New York City with her husband and two children, ages 15 and 12.
NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Last updated: Apr. 12, 2010