'Health is everything': Tonya Lewis Lee opens up about why she prioritizes Black women's wellbeing

Tatiana Pile

No matter how busy Tonya Lewis Lee may get, she always makes sure she prioritizes self-care.

The wife, mother of two, philanthropist, author, producer and most recently, creator of Movita Organics says she's used to being on the go — but like many others, the pandemic forced her to slow down a bit and refocus on her health and overall wellness.

"To me, wellness and self-care starts with a half-hour of something every day. It can be yoga, it can be a run, it could be a bike ride. It can be just some sort of activity — it can be a walk, but just really doing something physical," Lee tells Yahoo Life.

Throughout Lee's personal health journey as a Black woman and a mother, she recognized the disparities in the health care industry very early on. So when she founded Movita Organics, a health and wellness platform aimed at making wellness more accessible to women of color from marginalized communities, one of her main objectives — outside of creating safe and healthy vitamin supplements for women — was to continue her advocacy for equality in women’s health and health care. One of her biggest areas of focus aimed at addressing the disparaging maternal mortality rate among women of color. 

Currently, Black, American Indian and Alaska Native women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women, according to the CDC. Lee hopes her activism and company can help close that gap.

"These issues are really about her social determinants of health," Lee explains. "The numbers are dire and stark but there are good people out there trying to make change. We, as Black women, are recognizing our own power and are really learning how use it and to put it into motion." 

In order for change to take place, Lee says “what really needs to happen is people need to understand who [Black women] are. Demystify the Black woman."

Produced by Nurys Castillo

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