In our first TONI TALK, panelists Leontyne Brown (Entrepreneur & Community Activist/Founder, Pretty Girls VOTE), and Dr. Tanya N. Clark (Senior Assistant Professor of English and Africana Studies, Morehouse College), take on the notion of courage. Gwen Young (Principal Strategist, TruLite Communications LLC.) will moderate the discussion. Using writings from Toni Morrison as a spark for the discussion, our panelists will engage in a lively discussion about civic engagement, voting, stepping out with courage, and what it means to use your voice. Participants will be invited to ask questions, and will also be provided with details about how to create your own voting plan, just in time before the October 5th Georgia voting registration deadline.
In support of our production, Synchronicity Theatre is crafting a year of The Bluest Eye experiences in partnership with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, Tau Epsilon Omega Chapter.
During the month of June 2021, Synchronicity Theatre will have a series of specially-themed post-show discussions and events to run parallel to its production of The Bluest Eye. Leading up to that, during our 2020-21 Season, we will host four “TONI TALKS.” These intimate, interactive conversations will be rooted in Toni Morrison’s writings, and will feature moderated discussion groups and panels, each one around a particular theme.
This innovative project is in alignment with Alpha Kappa Alpha’s International Program platform, Exemplifying Excellence Through Sustainable Service, under leadership of International President, Dr. Glenda Glover. Target 4, The Arts! exposes students and communities to arts enrichment and culture by focusing on visual and performing arts and by showcasing talent through the exploration of writers, entertainers and various other artists and art forms. The works of Toni Morrison, a beloved member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, appropriately support the special features of the Excellence Platform Target 4, The Arts!, a Salute to the Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts Movement.
Dr. Tanya N. Clark received her BA in English from Clark Atlanta University, her MA in English from the University of Rhode Island, and her Ph.D. in English with a Certification in Women’s Studies from Temple University. Her areas of specialization are African American and American literature, African American literary criticism, and Women’s and Gender Studies. She spent the first 11 years of her academic career at Rowan University, where she taught a variety of courses, such as African American Literature, Women’s Literature, Black Speculative Fiction, and Toni Morrison, and administered two degree-granting programs, Bachelor of General Studies and Africana Studies. In 2017, Dr. Clark joined the English Department at Morehouse College as a Senior Assistant Professor. She teaches Composition, World Literature, American Literature, and, most recently, an updated version of her speculative fiction course called Blacks in Wonderland. She is currently writing a memoir detailing her experiences with infertility, twin pregnancy, pregnancy loss, and motherhood in which she situates herself as Afrofuturist subject battling intersecting oppressions within the technologically advanced space of today’s American healthcare system. She is also writing a scholarly book that uses womanist and speculative frameworks, particularly horror and Afrofuturism, to analyze the early African American female author Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins and her work with the Colored American Magazine.
Leontyne Brown is an award-winning marketing executive with a proven track record of achievement in Integrated Marketing & Communications, Branding and National Advertising for many of the world’s most recognizable brands, including the Truth Anti-Tobacco Campaign, Coca Cola, Honey Nut Cheerios, Toyota USA, Ralph Lauren, Nike and the Jordan Brand.
While serving as the National Advertising Director for Brand Jordan, Leontyne oversaw all national advertising, brand development, and all integrated marketing campaigns – helping the business to more than double its revenue and put the brand on track to become a $2.3 billion entity. She was also responsible for awarding over $4.5M in national sponsorships, grants, and in-kind donations to various local and national charities.
Today, Leontyne is the Founder and Managing Partner of salt513, a boutique advertising and communications consultancy with clients that include CVS Pharmacy Stores, Toyota, and Proctor & Gamble. More recently, she has begun to transition her focus from traditional consumer marketing to combining her expertise in marketing, advertising, and PR, with her passion for social justice . As such, she now serves as the Senior Marketing Consultant between the Nike Foundation and Colin Kaepernick’s “Know Your Rights” Foundation.
With over 20 years of integrated marketing and communications experience, Leontyne has received a number of professional awards including being the first African-American women to receive two consecutive Effie Awards from the American Advertising Association. She has also received the Multicultural Excellence Award from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the Florida A&M Distinguished Alumni Award, Legacy Magazine 40 Under 40 Award, NCBW HERSTORY Award, 2018 Everyday Hero Award Nominee, and recipient of Legacy Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful and Influential Black Business Leaders of 2019. Most recently Leontyne was a finalist for Justice Seekers Award by Essence Magazine.
In addition to her successful marketing consultancy, Leontyne uses her voice to explore issues of race, politics and culture and turn dialogue into structured and strategic action. In 2014, she launched “Pretty Girls VOTE”, a social media platform used to engage and educate voters on local, state, and national issues. PGV also encourages political involvement among women, specifically women of color. In 2016, after a series of police-involved shootings, Leontyne wanted to change the media narrative and coverage of African-American participation in local protests. Partnering with a childhood friend, she organized a group of over 10,000 college-educated, professional African-American men and women from across the US to participate in peaceful, social impact demonstrations and protests in 16 US cities. The protests, which were organized in just 48-hours, received both local and national press, including coverage in print and broadcast outlets including CNN, NY Daily News, Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune.
Locally, Leontyne is very active in the community and serves on the Executive Board of the Black Chamber of the Palm Beaches, The League of Women Voters, Women’s Chamber of Palm Beach County, Women’s Foundation Professional Development Committee and Racial Justice Impact Committee, The My Brother’s Keeper Alliance of PBC, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In 2020, Leontyne was appointed to the PBC Commission on the Status of Women, American Heart Association Health Equity Council, the PBC Organizing Against Racism Committee, and the WPB Mayor's Task Force for Racial and Ethnic Equality.
Leontyne is a graduate of Florida A&M University, where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Consumer Psychology, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Over the past year, Leontyne has received a Professional Certificate in Inclusion and Diversity from Cornell University, as well as training from the Racial Equity Institution and the Everyday Democracy Institute.