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Tonya Lewis Lee          

Author, Producer, Filmmaker & Entrepreneur; Women's Health Activist

Tonya Lewis Lee is an award-winning filmmaker, author, entrepreneur, and advocate for women's health. She is the president of her production company, Madstone Company Inc., and founder and CEO of her women-focused vitamin supplement business, Movita Organics.

A seasoned film and TV producer, Lewis Lee’s work often explores the personal impact of social justice issues. She directed the Peabody award-winning "Aftershock" in 2022, her first feature documentary, highlighting the maternal health crisis in the United States. The film’s recognition includes a 2023 Peabody Award, a 2022 Sundance Special Jury Impact for Change Award, an NIHMC Award and a 2023 Emmy Award nomination. Additionally, Lewis Lee was named to Forbes' "50 Over 50" list in 2023.

After transitioning from a career as a corporate lawyer, Lewis Lee established herself as a creative presence in children's literature and television. She co-wrote three children's books with her husband, Spike Lee: "Please Baby Please," "Please Puppy Please," and "Giant Steps to Change the World." She is also the co-author of the best-selling novel "Gotham Diaries." As a children's television producer, Lewis Lee has worked with Disney, Nickelodeon, and Noggin/The N, where she executive produced the award-winning documentary "I Sit Where I Want: The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education," and the critically acclaimed miniseries "Miracle's Boys."

Lewis Lee also found her voice as an advocate becoming the spokesperson for the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, A Healthy Baby Begins with You (AHBBWY) campaign. Inspired by her work with AHBBWY, she created and published the wellness blog Healthy You Now to educate, empower and support women in their own unique health journeys. Movita Organics is the nexus of Lewis Lee's work as a creator, communicator and women’s health advocate.

Lewis Lee serves as a board member of March of Dimes. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Virginia School of Law.

Speech Topics

Personal Activism

I Sit Where I Want: The Legacy of Brown v. the Board of Education

In the presentation of the documentary film I Sit Where I Want, Tonya Lewis Lee discusses the process of engaging Buffalo, New York, high school students in a conversation about race, segregation, integration, and what it all means to their lives. Through the eyes of nearly a dozen students of different ethnic backgrounds, the film takes a journey to understand why these kids at a racially mixed school segregate at lunchtime in the cafeteria. It is the age-old question: Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria? At first glance the answers may seem simple, but as we get to know the students and their environments we come to realize that the issues of why people choose to self segregate can be more complex than we initially thought. Whatever the reasons, the world is a better place if we face our fears, mix it up and try something new. The students in the film come away from their experience understanding the importance of becoming aware of their actions and with a feeling that cross-cultural exchange makes for a better, more productive world.

Activism: Showing Up is the First Step

When called upon by the Office of Minority Health (OMH) in 2007, Tonya Lewis Lee took that first step toward raising awareness on an issue that became a passion for her and the team of people she worked with. Through a Pre-conception Peer Education Training program, Lee and OMH have fueled a movement about winning back the civil right to a healthy life. In this discussion she talks about how she and OMH set out to create a program for college students nationwide, sharing the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices for their own sake and for the sake of future generations.

Creativity: Trusting in the Creative Process

Tonya Lewis Lee left a legal career and went on to become a television producer, co-author of several children's books, and author of an adult novel. Making the transition from a standard practice to embracing a full, fun, creative life can be scary but it has its rewards. Lee will share her guiding principles, her "up" moments and her "down" moments, as she made her own transition and continues to push the boundaries.

Health: Closing the Gap on Health Disparities in the United States

Through her work with the Office of Minority Health, Tonya Lewis Lee has spoken across the country about reducing US infant mortality rates, specifically focusing on the disparity between the rates at which black babies die versus white babies – a two to one ratio. Lee discusses raising awareness around the issue of health disparities in the United States. She explores such questions as: What are the causes? What can we do to bring down these staggering rates?


Tonya Lewis Lee unveils 'The Watsons Go to Birmingham'
Tonya Lewis Lee unveils 'The Watsons Go to Birmingham' ... are Lisa Simmonds, Director of International Film Festival with her special guest Tonya Lewis Lee.
Tonya Lewis Lee & Production Partner Prepping 5 More Feature ...
While her husband (Spike Lee) hustles to raise $1.25 million to produce his next indie feature film, Tonya Lewis Lee is already on to the next one - or I should ...
Tonya Lewis Lee Brings Civil Rights to the Small Screen ...
Spike Lee's wife is behind 'The Watsons Go to Birmingham.'

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