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Antonia says hello and gives an update on the international college students who were previously being forced to leave the United States. She says that even though the action has been repealed, voters should make sure to register to vote for November's election.
Antonia introduces her guest, Vona Hill, and catches up with her. Vona, who is a small business owner in her town in Massachusetts. She says that her town has been very cautious about the Covid pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests. She said that friends who called her to ask her about her opinion of the George Floyd murders inspired her to start a master class on white allyship in her backyard. Vona says she is very proud of the classes she’s taught.
Vona discusses having the talk about violence with her young, African American sons. She says that it is important to have that conversation without inducing fear.
Vona discusses her new children's book, Little Miss Everything; a short story about a young girl deciding what her career will be. She says that the book came from the extra time she had during the quarantine. Vona discusses her rigorous curriculum for her children, who are all primary school aged, during the quarantine in lieu of school.
Vona discusses her organization, The Black Vanguard Alliance, that provides thought leadership in the community that will spotlight Black creators and allyship information. She talks about her website, blackvanguardalliance.com. The site features black authors with different opinions, and varying needs. She says that the Black American voice is a plurality, not a singularity. Vona says that the power structure in the United States government allows for only a few POC representatives. She says that it is important to have diverse representation within the black community.
Vona discusses her new book, and the kickstarter that will allow it to be published. She says that the book is important to her because she needed this book when she was younger. Antonia thanks her guest and plugs her book, its Facebook page, and kickstarter.
00:00:23.430 --> 00:00:28.590 Antonia Thompson: Afternoon, this is Antonia on. So now you know I hope everyone had a very good week.
00:00:29.310 --> 00:00:34.890 Antonia Thompson: I know I took a couple of days off to get a little r&r and I hope you are doing that too in the summer months.
00:00:35.310 --> 00:00:41.310 Antonia Thompson: Although I think we can all agree with coven we've all been home for a long amount of time. So it doesn't feel like
00:00:41.850 --> 00:00:52.110 Antonia Thompson: Vacation so much because there's limited amount of places that we can go and things we can do, but do get out there and enjoy the air and the sun and the heat.
00:00:52.560 --> 00:00:56.460 Antonia Thompson: Because soon fall will be with us and we'll be going into another chapter
00:00:56.970 --> 00:01:05.790 Antonia Thompson: Of our first winter with kovats will put that one right we sell recalled celebrating all of our first with coven so let's keep our fingers crossed, and
00:01:06.210 --> 00:01:16.500 Antonia Thompson: And pray that soon. There is some type of vaccine and just, you know, keep doing you make sure you're wearing that mask social distancing and keeping yourself healthy
00:01:17.190 --> 00:01:28.200 Antonia Thompson: So as you know, last week we talked about immigration and we had Doug pen here was an immigration lawyer and he shared a lot of great information with us. I had a lot of questions for him afterwards.
00:01:28.500 --> 00:01:35.400 Antonia Thompson: But hopefully you know by now that the where we would talk about our foreign students and their ability to come back to the States.
00:01:35.790 --> 00:01:44.340 Antonia Thompson: To, you know, return to that college campuses. Finish up their degrees do their internships, a PhD work if that's if that's what were they were
00:01:45.120 --> 00:01:55.710 Antonia Thompson: In their journey and that our President Trump had put a ban on them coming back. If they're Institute higher learning institutions and even some of the boarding schools, private schools had
00:01:56.190 --> 00:02:02.130 Antonia Thompson: International students. They weren't gonna be able to go back on campus. If the school decided that they were going to do virtual learning
00:02:03.030 --> 00:02:08.580 Antonia Thompson: You see that he stepped back from that that was rescinded. So I'm so happy to hear that.
00:02:08.970 --> 00:02:12.960 Antonia Thompson: You know it's sad to say that at the end of the day with our president it all became about the dollars.
00:02:13.230 --> 00:02:21.000 Antonia Thompson: And as you heard from Doug it's billions of dollars that international students pay to these universities throughout the country.
00:02:21.390 --> 00:02:32.880 Antonia Thompson: And basically subsidize their funding right so Harvard MIT. I was excited that yes, they get out there and they know file that paperwork. But at the end of the day it was going to hit their pockets pretty deeply
00:02:33.420 --> 00:02:39.930 Antonia Thompson: The more important was the kids and the young adults and the professionals and those that are coming to the states to learn to go back to their countries.
00:02:41.520 --> 00:02:51.480 Antonia Thompson: To enrich their companies. They were the ones that we're going to be heard. Right. But that's just another indication of the politics of today, it's one thing you know how our President feels ones day what's on his docket.
00:02:52.020 --> 00:03:04.050 Antonia Thompson: And there's just no rhyme or reason to the craziness that is Donald Trump. So let's make sure we get out there and we vote were registered we're encouraging our friends and family to register. I know here in Connecticut.
00:03:05.010 --> 00:03:18.390 Antonia Thompson: We are a absentee ballot state. So, a lot of us. Everybody actually should have gotten in the mail their absentee form. So if you are inclined, not to go to the ballot physically in November.
00:03:19.470 --> 00:03:25.980 Antonia Thompson: fill out that form because that's how you are going to be able to vote, the next election if you're not willing to go to the
00:03:26.220 --> 00:03:38.640 Antonia Thompson: Polls for some odd reason. And to be honest, the way that things are going. These days, and voter suppression and all these, you know, funky new rules and free lining of districts for voter suppression.
00:03:39.480 --> 00:03:47.160 Antonia Thompson: I would fill it out. I'm a little worried about it because I'm like, I'm going to get this out. I'm going to send it in, who's counting it. Is it going to be counted
00:03:47.760 --> 00:03:53.280 Antonia Thompson: But the option of not being able to go for whatever reason in November to the ballot box.
00:03:53.940 --> 00:04:00.210 Antonia Thompson: I just want to be safe, but that's a choice, you need to make. But make sure what is happening in your community. Stay informed. Okay.
00:04:00.750 --> 00:04:12.150 Antonia Thompson: So I'm excited about our show today I have a old friend that has just read wrote, I believe her first book, and I want you to learn all about it. And she's just a fantastic person so
00:04:13.380 --> 00:04:21.990 Antonia Thompson: Her name is VONDA Hill and you know how I am with my zoom. I'm going to figure this out to bring her on in here.
00:04:23.400 --> 00:04:27.240 Antonia Thompson: And as you know, this has just been such a great time for people because
00:04:28.260 --> 00:04:36.360 Antonia Thompson: We, you know, we always have ideas or thoughts or dreams of things to do. And now this is the awesome the perfect time to make those dreams.
00:04:36.780 --> 00:04:50.400 Antonia Thompson: And things that we always had on our bucket list to become a reality. And this is one of them. Right. You know, years ago, I started. So now you know. And then I had a little hiatus, and then now I brought it back and I'm feeling great about it so. Hello, Miss Hill, how are you
00:04:51.510 --> 00:04:54.120 Vona Hill: I'm doing well, how are you. Thank you for having me.
00:04:54.450 --> 00:04:58.320 Antonia Thompson: Absolutely. I am so excited for you and I miss you.
00:04:58.890 --> 00:04:59.880 Vona Hill: I miss you too.
00:05:00.750 --> 00:05:05.970 Antonia Thompson: So as a lot of folks that listen to the show knows, you know. So now you know and it's all about
00:05:06.600 --> 00:05:14.520 Antonia Thompson: Shows and people that I bring on to share their experiences and most of the time, it is my family and friends or you know that
00:05:14.910 --> 00:05:25.260 Antonia Thompson: third degree of separation of people that i i meet and are doing fantastic and wonderful things. And I bring them on here so I'm so excited to have you here and to share the great news.
00:05:25.800 --> 00:05:40.650 Vona Hill: Well, I appreciate the opportunity to come on and talk about what's going on with me and my my ventures, but particularly my book and to see your lovely face. I'm sorry. My I'm not able to go live with my camera, but I'm glad to be here.
00:05:41.070 --> 00:05:49.770 Antonia Thompson: That's okay. It is the it is the world of zoom and sometimes you just have to take a zoom break. I do have to get on the video and the camera.
00:05:50.220 --> 00:05:54.900 Antonia Thompson: But you know it is talk radio and usually it was all audio. It's just that our studio in New York in the city.
00:05:55.590 --> 00:06:07.470 Antonia Thompson: Due to Kofi, do we just haven't been able to get in there but Zoom is great platform that allows us to come together. So don't even worry about it. And so, Vaughn, and I got to know each other on a baseball field.
00:06:08.790 --> 00:06:15.360 Antonia Thompson: Our sons were playing baseball together and she was new to town and that's literally I believe how we met, like in the stands.
00:06:16.560 --> 00:06:17.820 Antonia Thompson: Because of my boys. Right.
00:06:18.300 --> 00:06:20.340 Vona Hill: The great American pastime. Yes.
00:06:20.370 --> 00:06:21.030 I'm a doctor.
00:06:22.350 --> 00:06:25.500 Antonia Thompson: And I we both come from very athletic
00:06:25.500 --> 00:06:41.580 Antonia Thompson: Families both our husbands are very athletic folks. My husband loves blimps for baseball and your husband is a great football player in the college days. So, and I think you're actually very athletic I should take that you are you both are very athletic. I love
00:06:42.780 --> 00:06:55.350 Antonia Thompson: Athletics. I don't like to participate in them all the time, but I do like to watch them and kind of know the rules and regulations. So it was just a match in heaven, and we've just got to know each other pretty well through our kids.
00:06:55.710 --> 00:06:56.460 Vona Hill: Yes, and we
00:06:57.090 --> 00:06:57.840 Vona Hill: Like family.
00:06:58.170 --> 00:07:06.480 Antonia Thompson: Yes, we have family. And then of course we, you know, life happened and you moved but you moved back to my home State of Massachusetts, which I'm very proud of.
00:07:07.980 --> 00:07:09.360 Antonia Thompson: And you actually like it.
00:07:11.100 --> 00:07:15.180 Antonia Thompson: And I say that because a lot of people go to Massachusetts but hesitation, but I believe, let me not to
00:07:15.180 --> 00:07:18.960 Antonia Thompson: scare you, I believe you guys actually like Massachusetts
00:07:19.530 --> 00:07:23.730 Vona Hill: We do we like it a lot. However, we did not come without hesitation.
00:07:25.680 --> 00:07:26.790 Vona Hill: For most people who
00:07:27.480 --> 00:07:28.950 Antonia Thompson: Are in Massachusetts, they
00:07:29.010 --> 00:07:42.930 Vona Hill: Don't really they're the reputation of the state outside of messages. So we the information we got about about the Boston area did give me some pause before we moved here, but we've been here now for
00:07:43.950 --> 00:07:45.480 Vona Hill: I think almost seven years.
00:07:45.510 --> 00:07:46.800 Vona Hill: And we are very happy here.
00:07:47.400 --> 00:08:01.380 Antonia Thompson: Yeah. Time flies. And that's what I used to say to everybody is I tell everybody. You just got to experience it. But then I also have to say Lord Jesus. Hopefully nothing bad will happen while they're in Massachusetts, but it's it's a great. It's a great steak. I
00:08:02.160 --> 00:08:13.050 Vona Hill: A great place to be during cold it because people in Massachusetts, take it very seriously and are being very responsible compared to other states so that I appreciate very much. Yes.
00:08:13.080 --> 00:08:15.750 Antonia Thompson: Yes, we tend to take things very seriously.
00:08:16.110 --> 00:08:17.820 Antonia Thompson: Usually I'm fighting people
00:08:17.970 --> 00:08:24.960 Antonia Thompson: Are Mike between my family about, you know, the patriots and our New York teams, but we're going to let that go. Because that that'll be a whole nother conversation.
00:08:26.580 --> 00:08:32.010 Antonia Thompson: So I want to talk about what you have been up to. And the wonderful thing about VONDA AND HER FAMILY IS THAT
00:08:32.550 --> 00:08:46.770 Antonia Thompson: They are very active in the community. You are very active in the community. And as soon as you move to Boston you outside of Boston, you did the same thing that you did here. You just got very involved with your kids and your community. And so, in lieu of everything that's been happening.
00:08:48.450 --> 00:09:01.770 Antonia Thompson: With the George Floyd, and so forth. And I, you know, stay up with everything with you on Facebook. That's how family you know stays together these days. And I want you to talk to us explain to us a little bit about your neighborhood backyard conversations that you've been having
00:09:03.540 --> 00:09:04.740 Vona Hill: I'd love to. So
00:09:06.300 --> 00:09:12.540 Vona Hill: I am a small business owner here in my town and because of that I've been afforded an opportunity to
00:09:12.930 --> 00:09:31.590 Vona Hill: Be really involved with the families. I run a youth football program and I get an opportunity to meet parents and families and young children. So my network here is pretty entrenched in a very good way in light of the George Floyd murders. I was, I got a lot of phone calls from
00:09:32.670 --> 00:09:39.570 Vona Hill: Some of my white friends who were very interested in knowing what they could do to be a part of the change that they wanted to see
00:09:40.080 --> 00:09:47.040 Vona Hill: The first of all, we were calling to check up on me and make sure that I was doing well, emotionally, but the second
00:09:47.760 --> 00:09:56.250 Vona Hill: Reason for their calling was to say, What can I do, what can I do to get active and I found myself having these very long conversations
00:09:57.210 --> 00:10:11.430 Vona Hill: Two or three a day and I wasn't getting to my my work I had work to do. And I wasn't able to do it, but I wanted to engage people in these conversations because i appreciate the desire to do something, and that is how change will come
00:10:12.780 --> 00:10:22.560 Vona Hill: But because I did have, you know, a limited amount of time and a lot of friends who I wanted to engage. I decided that I had to do these talks on my own terms and
00:10:23.220 --> 00:10:31.380 Vona Hill: The best way to do that for me was in person, because they are very intimate conversations to be had. When we talk about racing.
00:10:32.280 --> 00:10:51.240 Vona Hill: I did not want to try to facilitate that in an online format because I wanted to be able to be real and raw and vulnerable. So I had already had some friends over for a little event I had called coffee on the lawn and it was bring your own lawn chair in your own coffee.
00:10:51.750 --> 00:11:02.310 Vona Hill: And mask and a math and we socially distance and we just enjoy each other's company. And so when when George Foley's murder happened I pivoted on that but concept and I
00:11:02.820 --> 00:11:10.050 Vona Hill: hosted an event called race on the law and a little bit of a pun. Because when you think about racing went along, you think about young
00:11:10.050 --> 00:11:10.380 Kids
00:11:11.610 --> 00:11:16.920 Vona Hill: Playing but this was a very serious conversation that needed to be had.
00:11:17.940 --> 00:11:29.790 Vona Hill: However, rather than it just being open discussion, which I think there's a time and place for. But this wasn't it it I designed it more as a master class on white lie interaction.
00:11:30.960 --> 00:11:40.470 Vona Hill: And I actually devised a curriculum for it. And in doing so, there, and there's a bit of open discussion, but more so it's a very
00:11:40.980 --> 00:11:54.330 Vona Hill: pragmatic approach to actionable items that allies can start doing right away, they can take immediate action and how to integrate that into their everyday lives so that we can see change immediately.
00:11:54.750 --> 00:12:03.390 Vona Hill: And the first I call the squad. The first squad of Allah has that because we're building an ally army so squad to platoon brigades
00:12:04.290 --> 00:12:26.160 Vona Hill: But the first squad. I had the opportunity to work with within 48 hours of our meeting and of our class. They had engaged on every level in private sector and public sector at the Board of Education, the school committees to see policy changes and that is exactly the outcome. I want it.
00:12:27.390 --> 00:12:34.110 Antonia Thompson: And so were you nervous about how many people would physically show up because I do, I do see people reaching out, I do see people
00:12:34.740 --> 00:12:47.640 Antonia Thompson: Trying to have the conversation social media. I always feel it's a little different when you see all these calls to action people showing up physically and getting so were you nervous about that. What, what was the, the amount of folks that were coming out.
00:12:48.600 --> 00:13:01.920 Vona Hill: I wasn't nervous about it because it was intended to be a small group format. The, the nature of the conversation was very personal. And like I said, it was very intimate, so I didn't want to facilitate large groups at a time.
00:13:02.880 --> 00:13:12.060 Antonia Thompson: Is it the same group of people that are always coming back, or are you. Does it encourage other people to join the conversation and in that way it widens the place
00:13:12.090 --> 00:13:20.430 Vona Hill: It absolutely wide. And so the first group that came through. They coalesced around each other and started their own network.
00:13:20.790 --> 00:13:25.860 Vona Hill: A lot of them knew each other, but some of them did not know each other. So they kind of became a cohort.
00:13:26.220 --> 00:13:31.350 Vona Hill: in and of themselves and I've never it's never the same person, the same group of people
00:13:31.650 --> 00:13:41.790 Vona Hill: Is a new group of people. And at this point, they're now strangers who come to my long because the word has spread and people are seeing it to be so valuable to their
00:13:42.570 --> 00:13:52.470 Vona Hill: Their understanding of race relations that they want other people that they know to be a part of it. So it has grown into spreading and I'm having them almost weekly now.
00:13:53.490 --> 00:13:59.880 Vona Hill: It typically is about 10 to 12 people so that we can socially distance. Well, it is literally on my lawn and
00:14:01.470 --> 00:14:13.980 Vona Hill: So it so it works really well and I have a relatively big long so I can accommodate a large group, but I deliberately keep it to no more than 12 people because I really want to be able to engage deeply
00:14:15.150 --> 00:14:24.600 Vona Hill: In one session and the curriculum is designed for about two hours of training, but sometimes the discussion goes well beyond that.
00:14:25.770 --> 00:14:34.800 Antonia Thompson: Wow, that's amazing. And I think you as a as a community activist in getting people together and keeping this conversation going, because it's very hard to have
00:14:35.220 --> 00:14:36.990 Antonia Thompson: And a lot of people do shy away from it.
00:14:37.200 --> 00:14:45.270 Antonia Thompson: So I totally applaud you getting your community engaged with us and just before we take the break, real quickly, is it just adults because you know
00:14:45.690 --> 00:14:57.270 Antonia Thompson: Let's put this out there. She's got three boys. So when she says she's busy. She's got three boys and and I can't. I know the age is a right, you've got a teenager. And then what a youngest is probably
00:14:58.170 --> 00:14:58.980 Vona Hill: He's eight. Yeah.
00:14:59.400 --> 00:15:00.180 Antonia Thompson: My Lord Jesus.
00:15:00.210 --> 00:15:02.940 Vona Hill: Okay, I have one in elementary, middle school and high school now so
00:15:02.940 --> 00:15:03.630 Vona Hill: They will
00:15:03.810 --> 00:15:12.150 Vona Hill: Place right now. So, this this conversation is just for adults because just because of the sentence sensitive nature of it.
00:15:12.480 --> 00:15:17.640 Vona Hill: But in addition to race on the lawn I facilitating that called human eyes are black and blue summit.
00:15:18.000 --> 00:15:28.140 Vona Hill: And that event, we actually brought together the black residents of our predominantly white town with our local police department to have some really candid conversations about racial profiling.
00:15:28.530 --> 00:15:39.960 Vona Hill: And police violence against the black community and at that event, we did want the children there because they are as victimized by that interaction as the adults are
00:15:41.070 --> 00:15:45.720 Antonia Thompson: Yes. You are amazing. So we're going to get ready to take our first break and then we're going to get back into
00:15:46.410 --> 00:15:57.000 Antonia Thompson: This discussion and we're going to get to that book of yours that you've written so just hang tight you're listening to Antonio and south. Now, you know, we have author VONDA hill with us talking about her book will be back soon.
00:16:02.400 --> 00:16:02.700 Vona Hill: As
00:18:03.120 --> 00:18:08.310 Antonia Thompson: So you're back into Antonia and so now you know we're talking to author on a hill.
00:18:08.820 --> 00:18:16.140 Antonia Thompson: And five justice we ended. We were talking about the engagement of our youth with the police and as I just mentioned, you have, you know, three
00:18:16.710 --> 00:18:24.390 Antonia Thompson: Black boys. Can you talk a little bit about that program and how you're having conversations with your boys about what's been going on in the community.
00:18:25.410 --> 00:18:33.090 Vona Hill: Well, I have to say that we have had these conversations with our boys. My husband and I, since they were old enough to talk and
00:18:33.570 --> 00:18:45.780 Vona Hill: I think most black parents can relate to that. It's important that we protect their innocence while somehow balancing their awareness of the reality that they live in.
00:18:46.380 --> 00:19:07.110 Vona Hill: So our boys are pretty savvy with most things, but with this. We were very proud of their understanding of the world as it is they. We don't want them to be fearful, but we want them to be cautious and so the nature of our conversation for that it is. It gets pretty deep and pretty heavy.
00:19:08.220 --> 00:19:10.980 Antonia Thompson: I'm sure it is. It's very, it can be intense in the hill house.
00:19:12.210 --> 00:19:13.140 Antonia Thompson: There's a lot of faith.
00:19:13.530 --> 00:19:20.880 Antonia Thompson: But it's all, it's always educational right it's just always about informing and be informed as to know, you know, both sides of an argument.
00:19:21.360 --> 00:19:26.070 Vona Hill: Right, and it's daily, I have to say that as well. We have these conversations daily
00:19:27.090 --> 00:19:34.680 Vona Hill: In some context or another. And I think that that is the key to being successful and kind of
00:19:36.270 --> 00:19:39.360 Vona Hill: Something that we can approach with them without inducing fear.
00:19:39.690 --> 00:19:42.060 Vona Hill: Is that this is is normalized
00:19:42.960 --> 00:19:54.930 Antonia Thompson: Yes, and I think a lot of part of the conversation is that people just need to put in context like this just, you know, George Foreman unfortunately happened and it was in real time.
00:19:55.290 --> 00:20:01.260 Antonia Thompson: But things like this has been happening for a very long time, please. Technology has been going on for a very long time.
00:20:02.340 --> 00:20:07.140 Antonia Thompson: So talk a little bit about your book. Little Miss Everything. And this is a children's book.
00:20:07.830 --> 00:20:13.170 Antonia Thompson: Um, so talk to me a little bit about that because I know you are totally passionate about youth.
00:20:13.980 --> 00:20:26.850 Antonia Thompson: Is as you mentioned before, you have your youth football league and everything is is about kids to me that I've that you both of us are passionate about it. So talk to me about this because I'm very excited for you a little miss everything
00:20:27.210 --> 00:20:32.910 Vona Hill: Thank you. Yes, I am passionate about youth and I am a serial entrepreneur and
00:20:32.940 --> 00:20:33.540 Antonia Thompson: Yes, all
00:20:34.080 --> 00:20:41.400 Vona Hill: Three, one of my ventures has been centered around something related to children. I just think they're magical. They're like pixie dust to me.
00:20:42.600 --> 00:20:48.990 Vona Hill: And so Little Miss Everything is for all intents and purposes, the daughter that I will never have
00:20:49.800 --> 00:20:50.940 Antonia Thompson: You say that but
00:20:51.660 --> 00:20:52.920 Vona Hill: No, I say that period.
00:20:55.380 --> 00:21:03.990 Vona Hill: So little everything is a young girl who is tasked with deciding what she wants to be when she grows up for her school career day
00:21:04.950 --> 00:21:17.490 Vona Hill: And it's a hard decision for her to make because she's got a lot of interest and she's in she's interested in doing a little bit of everything. So she faces her own in decisiveness. And she has also
00:21:18.660 --> 00:21:36.570 Vona Hill: Somewhat of a friend of me, who is a bit of a heckler to her who she has to contend with. But she manages to get a lot of support from her family and her family, her family members, introduce her to some role models who inspire her and so
00:21:37.920 --> 00:21:38.670 Vona Hill: The
00:21:39.690 --> 00:21:48.120 Vona Hill: The hope is that she will decide what she wants to be when she grows up in time for career day but you will have to read the book to see if that happens.
00:21:48.810 --> 00:21:50.190 Antonia Thompson: Absolutely. And I think it's
00:21:50.190 --> 00:21:55.680 Antonia Thompson: So exciting because that is the truth in, you know, a lot of the conversations that we're having
00:21:56.580 --> 00:22:11.460 Antonia Thompson: As far as changing school curriculums and being more inclusive of the black history is just that that a lot of our kids aren't given the pathway or the platform to hear about all the fantastic and wonderful choices that they can make
00:22:12.570 --> 00:22:16.290 Antonia Thompson: So I think it's, it's very, very important for our kids to see that.
00:22:17.280 --> 00:22:24.600 Antonia Thompson: And you illustrated this. So talk about this because I'm not that you can't be an artist, because I do see that you can do everything because
00:22:24.960 --> 00:22:32.520 Antonia Thompson: Every woman, but when I see it's really an illustrated. I was just very interesting because I've always wanted. Like, how does that happen when you illustrate to a book.
00:22:32.940 --> 00:22:41.010 Antonia Thompson: Now is it. Is this something that you've been thinking about a long, long time, or did it just come to, like, you know what I've done everything else. Let's write a book.
00:22:41.790 --> 00:22:46.260 Vona Hill: Well, I've had it in my spirit to write a book and be a published author forever.
00:22:46.530 --> 00:22:47.160 Vona Hill: I thought it would
00:22:47.250 --> 00:22:50.010 Vona Hill: Be a poetry book because I love writing poetry.
00:22:51.000 --> 00:22:52.530 Antonia Thompson: But I had an ex books.
00:22:52.830 --> 00:22:53.910 Vona Hill: That's the next one, right.
00:22:54.570 --> 00:22:56.310 Vona Hill: I have a concept for this book.
00:22:57.600 --> 00:23:03.540 Vona Hill: Some time ago and I penciled out in the plot for it. I think maybe in December.
00:23:04.500 --> 00:23:12.750 Vona Hill: But I kind of put it on the back burner. Just because I have three boys and life happens and then when we went into social isolation and quarantine.
00:23:13.350 --> 00:23:22.020 Vona Hill: I thought great. Perfect time to take something off of my bucket list. I mean, there were a couple things I picked up a couple of languages. I wanted to study and some other
00:23:22.260 --> 00:23:23.070 Instruments, you did.
00:23:24.720 --> 00:23:32.490 Antonia Thompson: For those of you who can see the visual on on Facebook. The cover of the book is Ivana she's sitting
00:23:33.090 --> 00:23:46.830 Antonia Thompson: crisscross applesauce and she has an apron on. She's got holding us bachelor one hand has a calculator. And then there's a notebook. There's a race car basketball like this, just everything there that she probably tackles in any given morning I'm, I'm gonna say day
00:23:47.970 --> 00:23:57.450 Antonia Thompson: It's just what her morning is a million things. And I just think I just look at the face and I'm like you drew your own face like that is so you
00:23:57.720 --> 00:23:58.590 Vona Hill: That's funny, because
00:23:58.680 --> 00:24:01.320 Vona Hill: I actually modeled the face after my three boys.
00:24:01.950 --> 00:24:03.270 Antonia Thompson: Well they that they are you
00:24:03.840 --> 00:24:06.660 Vona Hill: They are me exactly what she. So as much as
00:24:06.810 --> 00:24:16.950 Vona Hill: She is my role model. It is a little bit autobiographical love myself but she has her own little girl and her name is Rashad so yeah
00:24:18.060 --> 00:24:19.500 Vona Hill: We look alike, though. Yes.
00:24:19.890 --> 00:24:26.520 Antonia Thompson: Yes. And I just think it's beautiful. And, you know, I'm gonna have to go look inside to everything else how you did the illustrations
00:24:27.360 --> 00:24:39.510 Antonia Thompson: And do some of this come back to your own upbringing does and it did any of it you know you did you feel in your spirit and heart that some of this was talking to the inner girl and you back in the day. Did you feel that you had these options, growing up.
00:24:40.050 --> 00:24:52.530 Vona Hill: Absolutely and 100% I have a distinctive memory of having a conversation with my mother and she introduced the phrase jack of all trades, master of none.
00:24:53.010 --> 00:24:53.280 Antonia Thompson: And
00:24:53.820 --> 00:25:03.840 Vona Hill: I did not like that second part I like the jack of all trades part, but I really took issue with the master of all none because I knew I was
00:25:04.350 --> 00:25:14.340 Vona Hill: 100% certain I could at least master. A couple of them. And it was likely that I was going to master, many of them. So why wouldn't I be able to master everything
00:25:16.080 --> 00:25:23.400 Vona Hill: So in my heart of hearts. I am little miss everything. And that's why I say she as she has written is my role model.
00:25:25.650 --> 00:25:28.140 Antonia Thompson: And I, I, you know, it's funny because it's
00:25:29.190 --> 00:25:35.280 Antonia Thompson: Not funny but i think is all of this has happened, as I said before, so many platforms have become available.
00:25:35.820 --> 00:25:49.200 Antonia Thompson: Where people would have thought, Oh, I can't do you know this weekly talk show or podcast. Oh, I can't necessarily write this book. But now we have time and we have time to reflect, and we have, we noticed that, you know what, of course I can.
00:25:50.730 --> 00:25:54.840 Antonia Thompson: Do what else is there to do but be me and accomplish those goals.
00:25:56.790 --> 00:25:57.000 Vona Hill: To
00:25:57.600 --> 00:26:08.490 Antonia Thompson: Me for. Hey, so tell me what your kids are into because as you have done this. I know that you are making these boys are going to be rock star. So tell me, talk to a little bit about
00:26:09.330 --> 00:26:18.720 Antonia Thompson: The project that they are working on and how do they feel about little miss everything because they don't have sisters and I know you are teaching them about your queen.
00:26:19.740 --> 00:26:22.590 Antonia Thompson: So talk a little bit about how do they feel about mom writing this book.
00:26:23.280 --> 00:26:25.290 Vona Hill: They're so proud of me and
00:26:26.790 --> 00:26:38.610 Vona Hill: It matters very much to me that they admire the fact that I've done this, they look up to the ambition. It took and the bravery, it took to put myself out there like that and
00:26:39.300 --> 00:26:46.290 Vona Hill: They've made me they've made me feel so proud of myself. They are into everything just like my my title character and
00:26:46.710 --> 00:27:00.480 Vona Hill: They're my little Renaissance man they are good at a lot of things and they challenge themselves at everything. So they're very much an inspiration for this character and they are they are an inspiration for me every single day.
00:27:01.470 --> 00:27:03.810 Antonia Thompson: And so what are you sharing with them in
00:27:04.980 --> 00:27:10.470 Antonia Thompson: This virtual learning because you're also a teacher because I have been in your home and there is a classroom. Yes.
00:27:10.530 --> 00:27:16.470 Antonia Thompson: What have you been supplementing or at least putting in the forefront of their education. Now with everything that's going on.
00:27:17.130 --> 00:27:22.260 Vona Hill: That was our first big Kobe project so little miss everything was even secondary to that.
00:27:22.680 --> 00:27:36.450 Vona Hill: When we went into isolation, our school system took about two weeks to really ramp up to online learning. And in that interim I had already established a full curriculum for my children. We had a very
00:27:37.590 --> 00:27:54.150 Vona Hill: regimented day we woke up at 730 have family meeting and meditation. We had a set schedule for their academics, we had language learning science advanced mathematics, which were much more advanced in their school curriculums were
00:27:55.290 --> 00:28:04.920 Vona Hill: In fact, my oldest son was doing advanced algebra, as he had placed into it, my younger son who was two years my middle son was two years younger.
00:28:05.640 --> 00:28:21.180 Vona Hill: He's just like most like all of my boys, they have a very high math attitude. So rather than try to teach them separately two different math curriculums. I just brought my sixth grader up to the eighth grade math level and he was doing advanced algebra two so
00:28:22.530 --> 00:28:33.840 Vona Hill: It made it easy and you're correct. We have a classroom in our house. We have a big whiteboard and I stood in front of the whiteboard and I became a teacher, a full fledged teacher and my boys. Didn't love that part.
00:28:36.300 --> 00:28:37.290 Vona Hill: They appreciated it.
00:28:37.440 --> 00:28:47.400 Antonia Thompson: Well, they should have expected it wasn't like overnight. You became the teacher because I, I know you you were doing it all along. And I think there are a lot of folks that will listen to this and say, well, how does she do that or
00:28:47.640 --> 00:28:52.500 Antonia Thompson: You could that could be another business right there. I'm sure a lot of people are like, can I get that curriculum.
00:28:53.820 --> 00:28:59.400 Antonia Thompson: Because it did. And it's interesting because a lot of people, parents, you know, we're all
00:29:00.870 --> 00:29:06.450 Antonia Thompson: In the home. We're all trying to do our own thing and then you see what teachers actually have to do every day.
00:29:07.320 --> 00:29:18.450 Antonia Thompson: A lot of teachers were happy with the virtual learning and there's a lot of conversation going. But how schools will reopen in the fall and but there's also a lot of conversation about curriculum and being
00:29:18.450 --> 00:29:19.170 Vona Hill: inclusive of
00:29:19.380 --> 00:29:24.120 Antonia Thompson: All the things that you've already been exposing your children to that all children should be exposed to that.
00:29:24.780 --> 00:29:25.200 Vona Hill: Yes.
00:29:25.230 --> 00:29:28.230 Antonia Thompson: Yes, a lot or a better job of getting that information.
00:29:29.490 --> 00:29:30.480 Antonia Thompson: To our kids.
00:29:30.900 --> 00:29:35.700 Antonia Thompson: And so we're gonna take our next break and we're going to come back because I, there are a couple of different
00:29:36.540 --> 00:29:46.200 Antonia Thompson: Businesses that you are involved in, we want to talk about them all. And so you're listening to Antonia and so now you know. And we're talking to offer on a hill, and we'll be right back.
00:32:04.260 --> 00:32:09.240 Antonia Thompson: Hi, you are back with Antonia and so now you know we're talking to on a hill.
00:32:10.140 --> 00:32:21.810 Antonia Thompson: Fine, I want to again thank you for all the wonderful work that you're doing in the community. And I want to thank you now for the rock star sons that you have, because I know they're going to be doing amazing things.
00:32:23.190 --> 00:32:30.990 Antonia Thompson: And so let's talk a little bit about black van Carter lines. That's another business that you and your husband, I believe her husband's a co founder
00:32:31.860 --> 00:32:32.640 Vona Hill: Yes, he is.
00:32:33.090 --> 00:32:35.730 Antonia Thompson: And I'll throw that in there.
00:32:37.470 --> 00:32:38.850 Vona Hill: Will give him an honorable mention.
00:32:38.850 --> 00:32:43.770 Antonia Thompson: Yes. Okay, we'll give him a mention. So talk to us a little bit about black Vanguard aligns
00:32:44.550 --> 00:32:54.990 Vona Hill: Sure. In response to the race on the lawn event that I was hosting or am hosting taking off so quickly. I saw a need to
00:32:56.610 --> 00:33:01.500 Vona Hill: make it sustainable and scalable and my husband and I had
00:33:02.760 --> 00:33:13.170 Vona Hill: Had a passion, you know, to put together some type of formal institution to effect the change we wanted to see for many, many years at least 10 years
00:33:13.500 --> 00:33:22.440 Vona Hill: And for the past six years or so, we have actually been devising some initiatives that we wouldn't have had wanted to see come through to fruition.
00:33:23.010 --> 00:33:29.760 Vona Hill: And when the race on the lawn picked up and the energy of the United States as it is right now just kind of
00:33:30.210 --> 00:33:44.190 Vona Hill: became what it is. We thought it just was the perfect time and that such an opportune moment to fulfill some of these initiatives that we have given so much thought to for for so many years, we
00:33:45.270 --> 00:33:55.050 Vona Hill: We strongly believe that the systemic problem of racism isn't something that can be addressed with singularity, or with anecdotal solutions.
00:33:55.470 --> 00:34:12.660 Vona Hill: We have to start thinking about specific solutions to the systemic problem and what let Vanguard Alliance has done is approached the issue of systemic racism from every facet because it is a multi faceted problem and we provide
00:34:13.830 --> 00:34:22.710 Vona Hill: thought leadership in the various areas from political to socio economic education, health and wellness.
00:34:23.790 --> 00:34:31.650 Vona Hill: And business and finance and we are the we feel that these things need to be approached simultaneously.
00:34:32.370 --> 00:34:41.820 Vona Hill: And although there's some ramp up to it. We need to kind of make sure that we're not leaving anything off the table as we lean into all of the solutions that could exist.
00:34:42.450 --> 00:34:57.090 Vona Hill: So the primary focus of it is to deliver those initiatives, however, because messaging and communications is such a big part of our world, like you say, we're here on the zoom call we have to stay connected
00:34:57.930 --> 00:35:05.010 Vona Hill: One of the other really important parts of this initiative was to set up a platform that could serve as an info hub to keep
00:35:05.520 --> 00:35:19.530 Vona Hill: Everyone aware of what's going on. And when I say everyone that is the black community and our non black allies. So the, the name of the organization black Vanguard alliance actually reflects that.
00:35:20.220 --> 00:35:29.370 Vona Hill: It reflects the black community and then it reflects the alliance component of that because now that we have a very core group of engaged allies.
00:35:29.640 --> 00:35:39.150 Vona Hill: We need to take that momentum and move forward with it and we're black community needs to steer the direction of our own systemic equity.
00:35:39.930 --> 00:35:47.460 Vona Hill: We need to be the drivers of this vehicle, but we need our white allies to be in our non black allies as a whole to be the engine of the vehicle.
00:35:48.060 --> 00:35:55.740 Vona Hill: Because we are a we're still a numerical minority in this country. We are not the system, we will not change the system ourselves we need
00:35:56.280 --> 00:36:07.110 Vona Hill: The players in the system to come on board with the initiatives that we know we can lead ourselves. So there's a great deal of self agency we try to promote within the black community, but it is
00:36:07.560 --> 00:36:14.040 Vona Hill: Definitely a connective tissue that needs to be formed and and grown between the black community and our white allies.
00:36:15.060 --> 00:36:24.270 Antonia Thompson: And I think you You're absolutely correct. We have to create the narrative. We have to drive the narrative and we have to inform the narrative. If we want to see the systemic change that.
00:36:24.540 --> 00:36:33.810 Antonia Thompson: That you're talking about. So when you visit the website is it that I see that there are a number of different stories articles and so forth.
00:36:35.370 --> 00:36:44.070 Antonia Thompson: Walk me through a person who's like, oh, this is interesting. How do I access this information. We go to the website and we see the articles and that that is where people
00:36:44.100 --> 00:36:49.260 Antonia Thompson: Can access information if they have questions or ideas or thoughts about it.
00:36:49.710 --> 00:36:55.230 Vona Hill: Right, so the website will be somewhat of a media outlet. It will be an information hub.
00:36:55.620 --> 00:37:06.270 Vona Hill: There will be a membership component to the website coming very soon. And what we are hoping is that our allies engage in a deeper level by becoming members of the group. And likewise for
00:37:06.750 --> 00:37:21.540 Vona Hill: Members of the black community. We want them to get actual membership so visitors to the site can subscribe for more information and to stay abreast of what the site will be delivering as far as content, but our membership will be where we are engaging
00:37:22.950 --> 00:37:29.340 Vona Hill: The society as a whole with some of the initiatives that we take so that component will be coming out in the next two weeks.
00:37:30.120 --> 00:37:46.050 Vona Hill: And the first group of membership most likely will be the, the Members who have been a part of the race on the lawn and who have expressed some effort already not just interest but effort in being involved in an action oriented way.
00:37:47.220 --> 00:37:55.290 Antonia Thompson: And I think, again, you know, we talked about the narrative and creating that narrative. And a lot of times, and I'm sure you have seen this because it's been happening across the country.
00:37:55.770 --> 00:38:13.710 Antonia Thompson: There's all this call to action. There are all these statements, all these organizations that are you I'm committed to ending systemic racism but it's it's it's works. There's no concrete steps like you talked about, you know, having action steps and I feel that there is a lot. Most people
00:38:14.940 --> 00:38:16.110 Antonia Thompson: Don't know the next steps.
00:38:16.410 --> 00:38:21.510 Antonia Thompson: And right there looking and I don't know if you feel this. I know you talked a little bit about at the beginning.
00:38:22.380 --> 00:38:30.240 Antonia Thompson: It's a daughter Milito white friends will reach out to you after everything happened with George for and they're like, oh, how are you feeling and I didn't know how to take it at first.
00:38:31.230 --> 00:38:40.590 Antonia Thompson: I was like, Am I the only black friend that you have, like, why are you reaching out to me. Am I supposed to educate you or make you feel better about the discomfort.
00:38:41.340 --> 00:38:47.790 Antonia Thompson: That you're feeling because I do think a lot of it is a discomfort and then just not knowing what next steps is. So I think, you know,
00:38:48.540 --> 00:38:59.850 Antonia Thompson: Your website. And the whole idea of the black Vanguard is just brilliant because now instead of it being. Oh, I have a statement. I'm behind someone else's words I
00:39:00.060 --> 00:39:01.740 Antonia Thompson: Can take my own steps I can
00:39:01.830 --> 00:39:04.950 Antonia Thompson: I can have my own accountability to
00:39:05.370 --> 00:39:09.360 Antonia Thompson: My going to change the narrative or be part of the correct narrative.
00:39:10.200 --> 00:39:28.260 Vona Hill: Right. And another big part of this initiative and where we tend to focus the political part of our, our discussion when it comes to black Vanguard is that we really need the diversity of black voices to be heard. We tend to have
00:39:29.400 --> 00:39:41.490 Vona Hill: Representatives among us who are anointed or selected to be the spokesperson for a race that is very multifarious. We are not a we're not
00:39:42.150 --> 00:39:51.420 Vona Hill: A monolith. We are a heterogeneous group of people. We have common interests and we are having some common experiences of being black in America.
00:39:51.810 --> 00:40:00.720 Vona Hill: But the reality is that a lot of the times our spokespeople only represent a segment of our population and we start to see an article title.
00:40:01.500 --> 00:40:11.640 Vona Hill: Familiarity to the type of sports people who are making the rounds on national media and who are representing us in government on all levels and it
00:40:12.210 --> 00:40:19.830 Vona Hill: Is very disconnected from the everyday black person and the everyday person needs to be engaged in some of these
00:40:20.340 --> 00:40:28.830 Vona Hill: Conversations about, you know, things that will impact their everyday lives. So our goal is to add like Vanguard is Elias is to
00:40:29.490 --> 00:40:42.690 Vona Hill: Make sure that the voices of all black people all types of black people from different classes to different genders different sexual orientations geographic locate locales that they are all
00:40:43.260 --> 00:40:52.170 Vona Hill: Heard and and there's a reason why it comes down to this singular voice when you try to go into policy, which is one of our highest priorities.
00:40:53.580 --> 00:41:00.240 Vona Hill: Politicians tend to want to say, Tell me what you need, you know, let's go represent that interest and
00:41:00.750 --> 00:41:17.370 Vona Hill: Singularity comes of that. Well, we need to do and what black Vanguard is doing is we need to hold our political leaders and our government leaders and administrators accountable for listening with the more discerning ear to the morality of our voices. Absolutely.
00:41:17.670 --> 00:41:30.600 Antonia Thompson: Absolutely, and I do feel that there has been this you know pendulum shift that our voices do matter and that we have to use our voices, because just that you said whether our leaders of the past.
00:41:31.530 --> 00:41:34.530 Antonia Thompson: Were fantastic obviously and wonderful and we celebrate them.
00:41:35.130 --> 00:41:43.650 Antonia Thompson: Well, I put this way. What do you think, and all of this that we've been going through. Do you see that we have black leadership. Do you see on the national platform.
00:41:44.010 --> 00:41:56.790 Antonia Thompson: You know, we had Obama and we had others through that administration that we could say, okay, that is a leader, you know, in whatever field that was that they were in. I just feel such a void. Do you, do you feel that way. Do you, who do you
00:41:56.910 --> 00:41:58.050 Vona Hill: Would you say, I don't
00:41:58.350 --> 00:42:11.100 Vona Hill: Really fill a void of, I think we have some phenomenal black leaders. I think that they're bleeding in the best way that they can what I think is more detrimental than
00:42:11.760 --> 00:42:20.610 Vona Hill: You know what may appear to be a void is that we're 10 we the power structure Tim's to think we should only have one or two at a time.
00:42:21.660 --> 00:42:24.570 Vona Hill: We shouldn't be relegated to such a small
00:42:27.210 --> 00:42:29.070 Vona Hill: A small segment of representation
00:42:29.970 --> 00:42:33.180 Antonia Thompson: I guess I kind of phrase that wrong, right, because it's not to say, you know,
00:42:33.900 --> 00:42:41.670 Antonia Thompson: A reverend Sharpton has an answer for everything. And that's who we had to, you know, we have to march to that drum. I mean, yes, I said that. Right, right.
00:42:42.600 --> 00:42:57.990 Antonia Thompson: I think sometimes I feel. And you mentioned it right you have your, your, your white you have allies that are going to pay attention to this website you can have black folks that need need themselves to get educated and be active more
00:42:58.020 --> 00:42:59.160 Antonia Thompson: Than they've done in the past.
00:42:59.460 --> 00:43:04.950 Antonia Thompson: And I guess my question was I just feel like in lieu of everything that's happening. I don't feel
00:43:07.050 --> 00:43:15.120 Antonia Thompson: I don't know how to phrase it but that there is a presence for us, like say for instance with coven and we know that our community, the black community is being devastated by the
00:43:15.780 --> 00:43:21.720 Antonia Thompson: by Kofi because the underlying health concerns that we have, we have your plateaus don't have adequate access to health.
00:43:22.380 --> 00:43:31.950 Antonia Thompson: To health services and so we are dying a tremendous numbers and I kind of feel at times that we are missing out on that.
00:43:32.670 --> 00:43:39.600 Antonia Thompson: National scheme of things of someone looking out for us. And that is more so imperative that we as a community rise up.
00:43:40.020 --> 00:43:53.670 Antonia Thompson: We take all of these maybe local black leaders or writers or authors or musicians and really need to come together so that even those that folks that are just everyday in the community.
00:43:55.980 --> 00:44:00.600 Antonia Thompson: Are hearing the need for us to step, I guess I'm not really articulated
00:44:00.780 --> 00:44:02.070 Vona Hill: No, I understand completely and
00:44:02.070 --> 00:44:02.460 Antonia Thompson: I
00:44:02.490 --> 00:44:10.950 Antonia Thompson: Just feel like an ICO if it sits in my head because I just do voluntary and I just feel like, Who is speaking to just the common black person that is so
00:44:11.970 --> 00:44:21.600 Antonia Thompson: Has anxiety. It is so overwhelmed by everything that's happening, the community definitely wants to be at all the protests and so forth. But how do they, how does the invoice get hurt.
00:44:21.870 --> 00:44:32.070 Vona Hill: Like, exactly. No, I understand that. And I agree with you that that is definitely a big problem. And that's what we are hoping to address so black Vanguard alliance.
00:44:32.310 --> 00:44:44.580 Vona Hill: Will bring to hopes to bring together those community leaders, the state level leaders and the national leaders and bring everybody's voice into that, but we want to make sure we're doing that in a way that
00:44:45.360 --> 00:44:57.300 Vona Hill: That everyday common black person is hurt as much as that national leader because they are typically exclude it and and aren't necessarily spoken to, but spoken about.
00:44:57.540 --> 00:44:57.810 Antonia Thompson: We will
00:44:57.930 --> 00:44:59.370 Vona Hill: Make sure that they're spoken to.
00:44:59.700 --> 00:45:03.660 Vona Hill: And I agree with you. We definitely need to coalesce those leaders and the core
00:45:05.160 --> 00:45:13.530 Vona Hill: fundamental part of black Vanguard alliance is to coalesce the community because, as someone who does business strategy so
00:45:15.600 --> 00:45:29.040 Vona Hill: As a business strategist. One of the first things I tell my clients is that your message matters. Your message is as important as your product or service. What is the message of your product or service and as the black community.
00:45:30.660 --> 00:45:45.150 Vona Hill: stands today. We don't have very clear messaging and one of the reasons we don't have that clear messaging is because we do have limited representation, not for lack of leadership in our, in our ranks, but for a lack of spaces allocated to us.
00:45:45.330 --> 00:45:50.130 Vona Hill: To have leadership, right. So that's one of the ways that the system.
00:45:51.420 --> 00:46:07.830 Vona Hill: fall short and supply and what we need is just giving us the space, we need to put leaders into that space. But then we also have a an effect that is very similar to the show me your papers laws. Those antiquated laws of like grandfather clauses.
00:46:08.550 --> 00:46:19.350 Vona Hill: And literacy tests that disenfranchised many black Americans in the reconstruction air and that had President Obama having to show his birth certificate and pretty much
00:46:19.530 --> 00:46:21.150 Vona Hill: All black people at least
00:46:21.210 --> 00:46:25.170 Vona Hill: That's right. It's about how that affects our leadership what we know to say is
00:46:26.010 --> 00:46:38.220 Vona Hill: You know when when a national audience takes hold of a black leader. This person is usually very highly educated, they are someone who is professionally accomplished. They
00:46:38.550 --> 00:46:47.880 Vona Hill: Have probably authored a book recently. And that's great that that leader has a space but 70% of black Americans don't have higher education.
00:46:49.110 --> 00:46:49.680 Vona Hill: We're going to be
00:46:49.740 --> 00:46:54.090 Antonia Thompson: I knew you had going to be able to to say what I was trying to say, of course.
00:46:54.660 --> 00:46:55.830 Antonia Thompson: LM eloquently
00:46:57.090 --> 00:46:57.960 Antonia Thompson: We, the let's get ready.
00:46:58.560 --> 00:47:05.970 Vona Hill: To feel qualified to speak on their existence because they are just as qualified to speak on being black in America as the college educated black person.
00:47:06.090 --> 00:47:08.310 Vona Hill: We are all black in America. That's right.
00:47:08.820 --> 00:47:14.520 Antonia Thompson: So we're going to get ready to take our last break and we're going to come back and share with everybody how you are going to
00:47:14.880 --> 00:47:26.010 Antonia Thompson: Get this book. How are we going to support this book and how we are just going to get this book in every buddies hands so you're listening to Antonia and so now you know and we'll be right back with Father, help
00:49:21.240 --> 00:49:29.070 Antonia Thompson: So welcome back, you're listening to Antonia on. So now you know we're talking to VONDA Hill, and I appreciate you.
00:49:29.760 --> 00:49:43.410 Antonia Thompson: clearing that up at the end of that because I was trying to figure out how I could articulate this, but I also think it's part of the anxiousness the anxiety of coven and all of this that is happening to us well pandemics going on.
00:49:45.300 --> 00:49:48.390 Antonia Thompson: So thank you for that. Because if that made all sense
00:49:49.560 --> 00:50:01.320 Vona Hill: And I just wanted. I just want to add to that a little bit that although we do have limited black leaders we need their voice in this. We even though they may be, the more educated among us.
00:50:02.310 --> 00:50:09.030 Vona Hill: And 70% of black black people don't hold a higher degree from a higher education institution.
00:50:09.510 --> 00:50:17.280 Vona Hill: We need their voices and the others. We don't need to replace our leaders. We need to increase the number of leaders that are out there.
00:50:17.880 --> 00:50:38.340 Vona Hill: Considered credible to speak on these issues. Unfortunately, the very issue we need to fix is the fact that we are excluded and and kept out of receiving credentials in higher education. So make that the prerequisite to speak on the issue is kind of absurd way of thinking anyway.
00:50:39.870 --> 00:50:46.500 Antonia Thompson: Yep, you're right. And I think you know what was frustrating me of weeks back when Connecticut was thinking about reopening
00:50:47.070 --> 00:50:51.720 Antonia Thompson: And the governor had you know his commission on those to have that conversation.
00:50:52.200 --> 00:50:59.130 Antonia Thompson: The first thing they were opening was the barbershops and the nail salons, and so forth. But it was like, well, who, who's the black voice at that table.
00:50:59.370 --> 00:51:01.620 Antonia Thompson: Where's the health of doctors and so forth.
00:51:01.890 --> 00:51:13.380 Antonia Thompson: That are saying, Well, what are we talking about the black community like what, who was their voice to say okay if yes, I get it. You got to open it out. It is your business, but at the same time. Let's talk about the health considerations for our community.
00:51:13.650 --> 00:51:13.830 Antonia Thompson: But
00:51:14.460 --> 00:51:22.200 Antonia Thompson: The best practices that we need to be using to keep our black folks healthy in a time when we're dying, you know, huge numbers.
00:51:22.470 --> 00:51:28.560 Antonia Thompson: And so I thought that was a suggestion. And you're right, it doesn't necessarily have to be this huge politician, but it does need to be
00:51:28.890 --> 00:51:42.510 Antonia Thompson: Our local NAACP. It doesn't need to be our urban League's it does need to be our border reps that are in our small communities that need to step up and if there was ever a time it's right now that we do need those local voices.
00:51:43.080 --> 00:51:52.920 Antonia Thompson: To create that narrative, because if they don't, then you are going to have opening up and you are going to have it in the community in this, you know, the black community go open up those shops, you know,
00:51:53.820 --> 00:52:14.280 Vona Hill: And what we don't want to have the outcome of this be is that black leadership is vying for or in contention for space to lead. We don't. We need the institutions that exists to create more space, not have us splitting up this high, as if it's some zero sum game, we need
00:52:14.970 --> 00:52:16.710 Antonia Thompson: All of that one person is the expert.
00:52:17.070 --> 00:52:21.090 Vona Hill: Exactly. And what happens. Unfortunately, that is what tends to happen is
00:52:22.440 --> 00:52:31.470 Vona Hill: You know, some people among us are anointed as our spokespeople, and that's a good thing that they have gotten the platform. So they have to speak, but
00:52:31.800 --> 00:52:48.150 Vona Hill: When it comes to bringing more voices into it. We don't replace them. We need to expand them. We need our institutions to make more space and seek more diversity of more diversity in the voices that are invited to that space to be considered quote unquote experts of these topics.
00:52:48.600 --> 00:52:56.760 Antonia Thompson: Yes, so I can imagine your dinner table and I have sat at your dinner table, so I know there is just a house full of conversation that is happening at all.
00:52:57.240 --> 00:53:04.740 Antonia Thompson: I just love it. I just absolutely absolutely love it. So as we finish up the show today. Let's talk a little bit about
00:53:05.430 --> 00:53:18.900 Antonia Thompson: Little Miss Everything. Talk to us about what are your plans in the next month. How can we get our hands on this book. I know there is a Kickstarter fund that you have. So give us our information of how do we get in contact with you. How do we sign up
00:53:20.220 --> 00:53:27.120 Vona Hill: Yes, absolutely. The Kickstarter is a really interesting model. They are a and
00:53:27.810 --> 00:53:34.110 Vona Hill: Their funding model is all or none. So it's quite nerve wracking to have gone down this path because
00:53:34.410 --> 00:53:48.840 Vona Hill: If I don't raise the entire goal, then I get none of the money. So one of the first things I would love anyone who's interested in supporting this book to know is that we got to hit that goal. So we need to make this information go viral. We need to get everyone
00:53:50.400 --> 00:53:59.280 Vona Hill: That you know from other states across the country across the world familiar with this, this name little miss everything and supporting this Kickstarter.
00:53:59.910 --> 00:54:16.710 Vona Hill: The Kickstarter will allow for the publishing to come to completion. But the book is ready to go. So unlike some projects on Kickstarter. There's a very low risk of non delivery, this will actually be fulfilled. Very shortly after the Kickstarter. We are in day two of it.
00:54:17.160 --> 00:54:35.430 Vona Hill: And we've done really great for our first we I don't even think we're day two were like not quite 24 hours into it. And we've already hit. I think at least 4% of our goal, which I think is amazing for a couple of hours, but we can't rest on our laurels. We're going to make
00:54:35.430 --> 00:54:45.510 Vona Hill: Sure that we got to make sure that people are sharing the link and telling their friends about it. And even if you don't have children who
00:54:46.140 --> 00:55:01.770 Vona Hill: Are of the demographic that it's targeted to then you can still support the book because a couple of our pledging options allow for you to donate copies of the book to your favorite library or to give to a friend or to a school so
00:55:01.800 --> 00:55:12.360 Vona Hill: Classic. Everybody should be visiting the site and just taking a look at the informational video and seeing the purpose for it, where I outlined very clearly the three reasons why.
00:55:12.990 --> 00:55:22.830 Vona Hill: I wrote this book and it i think it's it's powerful, and the main reason, I'll have, I'll say is because when I was a little girl I needed this book.
00:55:23.460 --> 00:55:36.990 Vona Hill: I did it because I was an ambitious little black girl and I have a bunch of great attributes and on me. They were frowned upon the same things that someone else may be held it for because I was confident that was frowned upon.
00:55:37.740 --> 00:55:45.720 Vona Hill: That's that is what we need to change in America. And when we normalize black success and lack ambition.
00:55:46.200 --> 00:55:53.910 Vona Hill: Then what we we do is we wrote systemic any quality because we change people's minds and hearts, and that is something that
00:55:54.480 --> 00:55:59.910 Vona Hill: Starts with children. So this book is 10 real life role models that
00:56:00.690 --> 00:56:12.480 Vona Hill: inspired the main character of shadow. But these are role models that every child should look up to, not just little black kids and when little white kids and little brown kids and all little kids can look up to black role models.
00:56:12.900 --> 00:56:20.160 Vona Hill: Then we they're raising with a different understanding of the world and that systemic any quality begins to erode
00:56:21.240 --> 00:56:27.630 Antonia Thompson: Absolutely fantastic. So we have to get this out there. The book is called Little Miss Everything
00:56:28.050 --> 00:56:41.100 Antonia Thompson: As VONDA mentioned Kickstarter com you can look it up that way and and put in their little miss everything you need to hit. I think at least what I think it's 25,000 that we're raising for this book. This book has to get to the hands of children.
00:56:42.240 --> 00:56:43.290 Vona Hill: But we also want to
00:56:43.920 --> 00:56:45.420 Vona Hill: We want to surpass that right
00:56:45.900 --> 00:56:50.340 Antonia Thompson: Absolutely, absolutely, and where we're going to do it. We're going to, you can visit
00:56:50.580 --> 00:57:00.090 Antonia Thompson: So now you know talk radio, we will have the website will have the link. You can also look at the talking alternative broadcast Facebook page. I'll post it there.
00:57:00.600 --> 00:57:10.860 Antonia Thompson: And then you can always just email me at Antonia at Antonia talks with so we can get this link to as many hands as possible and get this book and to where it needs to be.
00:57:11.610 --> 00:57:12.510 Antonia Thompson: I so we are a
00:57:12.690 --> 00:57:19.950 Vona Hill: Few Facebook page for a little miss everything so visit our Facebook page as well. You can get updates on the progress of the Kickstarter.
00:57:20.730 --> 00:57:30.210 Vona Hill: And just the growth of this project in general because this is one book out of the series to come and her, she'll be a household name, pretty soon I hope
00:57:30.750 --> 00:57:41.550 Antonia Thompson: Oh, absolutely. And so, thank you so much for coming on today and sharing all of the wonderful things that you and your family are doing. And again, thank you for the work that you're doing in the community.
00:57:42.270 --> 00:57:48.960 Antonia Thompson: Because this conversation needs to be needs to be had and platforms, need to be available with access for everyone.
00:57:49.260 --> 00:57:57.540 Antonia Thompson: And so truly appreciate the work that you're doing and I cannot wait to have you back with this book that's on the, you know, New York Times bestseller list and
00:57:57.840 --> 00:58:11.970 Antonia Thompson: Don't forget us. Do not forget, once you start learning and doing the phenomenal work that you do that you were here on. So now you know so we will see everybody next week. It's five o'clock, and this is Antonia and so now you know and I hope you have a great summer.
00:58:12.810 --> 00:58:14.220 Vona Hill: Thank you so much, Antonia
00:58:14.700 --> 00:58:16.320 Antonia Thompson: Already will talk to everybody soon.