With all of her accomplishments, Tonya Lewis Lee’s face should pop up when you search for “Modern Day Wonder Woman,” on Google. She’s so much more than Spike Lee’s better half and we are so excited to have her share her expertise on our 2015 ESSENCE Fest Empower U stage.
Tonya Lewis Lee is a mother, wife, author, lawyer, spokesperson, philanthropist and the CEO of her own production company, Tonik Productions. Committed to changing the way we all view healthcare, education and everyday women’s rights, the accomplished content creator is always working to ensure that informative, life-changing stories are told each time she picks a new project.
After she left her position as a corporate lawyer, Lewis Lee decided to give her husband, legendary filmmaker Spike Lee, a run for his money and dived in to creating visual content head first. One of her most notable films, I Sit Where I Want: The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education, reintroduced the culture to the importance of de-segregated schools.
Lee's constant need to educate on women's health, philanthropy, family and education have led her to writing books, creating films and getting involved in as many things as she can realistically get her hands in to. Though she and Spike tend to keep their work life out of their marriage of over 20 years, she does think very much of how her kids view her ever-evolving work. In an interview with TheGrio, she described her children as her greatest joy. She also revealed why she never puts herself in a box:
"I have to say I think about my great-great-great-great-great grandparents, who really seriously worked, literally slaved and survived so that I could be here. I really feel like I owe them to be my best self. Given what they endured and what they went through, I should be able to pick up the torch and carry it further."
For inspiring us to be whatever we want to be, whenever we want to be it—Tonya Lewis Lee is our #WEW pick.
Watch her talk about her latest film and more, below.
Don’t miss her at #ESSENCEFest2015! Sign up for Tonya's Empower U session here.