Tonya Blount's talents, abilities, and forward-looking leadership build upon the spirit of unity. She has enjoyed professional partnerships with BET, New York Newsday, Richmond Times Dispatch, Richmond Voice, Canarsie Courier, Caribbean Life, Virginia Informer, Disilgold magazine, e-Spire Entertainment, The Blessed Room, Black Romance magazine, Virtuous Women, Mo Favor and many others.
Tonya Blount is the new, Editor-in-Chief of Having Church for Women magazine, a national bi-monthly publication with a growing circulation of 50,000. The launch of the September/October, 2009 edition will be the premiere issue. The publication is a spin-off of Having Church magazine. The latter has been in print for five years. Tonya was raised by artistic parents, Ronald and Bertha Vaughn in New York who quickly recognized their daughter's artistic talents. She was taught the values of hard work, responsibility, and rewards and acquired a keen understanding of contribution.
As a youth, Tonya developed a love for singing and playing the piano and was intuitively referred to as an "old spirit" by her elders. As a youth, she sang in her church choir, and would go on to sing back-up vocals for several of New York Rap artists.
After surviving a challenging and violent marriage, Tonya found herself homeless -twice -and raising five children on her own. While living on the streets, she became ill. Anticipating her death, she wrote a memoir to leave as a legacy for her children. The "legacy" was highly-praised by her friends. Innovation would transform the document into her debut novel, Leaving the Wilderness. Implementing her standards of excellence, and holding herself accountable for her success, Tonya would turn her conditions all around and rebound faster and stronger than anyone expected. She regained her health and wrote several more books. Many more successful ventures and businesses would follow.
Using her God-given vision of contribution, and a decision to utilize her talents, Tonya brought transparency and efficiency to battered women and their children. She has worked with many organizations including Voices of Women Organizing Project (VOW), Jericho Road, w.o.m.e.n.,EO., Women Destined for Greatness, Inc., Women Against Abuse and others in an effort to further eradicate domestic violence. In 2004, she founded Leave the Wilderness, an organization dedicated to this population. And in the Fall of 2006, she debuted on her own talk show -The Tonya Blount Show. The program aired on MYTV in Central Virginia and was broadcasted to a half-million households.
As her vision expands, Tonya, who is also an ordained minister, continues to direct her attention to philanthropy, and donating her time and resources to charitable, cultural, and educational causes. Her talents, abilities, and forward-looking leadership build upon the spirit of unity. She has enjoyed professional partnerships with BET, New York Newsday, Richmond Times Dispatch, Richmond Voice, Canarsie Courier, Caribbean Life, Virginia Informer, Disilgold magazine, e-Spire Entertainment, The Blessed Room, Black Romance magazine, Virtuous Women, Mo Favor and many others.
Additionally, she has appeared on many television and nationally syndicated radio stations. Today she continues to attract the attention of fans and associates. "Although both my parents recently went home to be with the Lord, their unconditional love and beautiful spirits embrace me daily," Tonya explains. "My mother’s vision for me to touch people through my testimony and music is what continues to inspire me as I walk this journey." In her free time, Tonya says she loves playing the harp, crocheting, drawing, and playing the piano. Tonya Blount is the proud mother of four adult children and one teenager.
WRITER: Fran Briggs