Author, life coach and television host Iyanla Vanzant will speak at the Rock the Mic Lecture series this Wednesday in the B.N. Duke Auditorium. The event will begin at 7 p.m.
Vanzant was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. as Rhonda Eva Harris, on Sept. 13, 1953.
She’s mostly known for her hit television series “Iyanla: Fix My Life” that debuted in 2012 on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
The show features Vanzant helping others to overcome life’s difficulties through activities and words of encouragement. Vanzant offers advice through her own life’s trials and tribulations.
She helped huge celebrities such as rapper DMX, reality star Evelyn Lozada, and former NFL star Terrell Owens.
Before the big television show, Vanzant had quite a journey.
At the age of two her mother died of breast cancer, leaving her and her older brother to be raised by her father and multiple family members. By the age of 16, she had her first child and by 21 she was a mother of 3.
Vanzant went to Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, N.Y. and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 3 years. After that she entered City University of New York Law School at Queens College.
After school she pursued a career as a Public Defender at the Philadelphia Public Defender’s office. She later realized that was not her passion and took a different route.
She went on to become a motivational speaker. She produced a workbook published in 1988, “Tapping the Power Within: A Path to Self-Empowerment for Black Women.” Later on she published her second work, “Acts of Faith: Daily Meditations for People of Color.”
Vanzant began doing guest appearances on the Oprah show in 1998. Her life altering advice and relationship tips stuck out to many and she was immediately a hit with women worldwide.
In 2004 she was named one of the “100 Most Influential Black Americans” by Ebony magazine. She was awarded as one of the “100 Most Influential Women” by Women’s Day Magazine in 2003, and one of the “Most dynamic speakers in the United States” by Emerge Magazine in 2000.
Vanzant is also an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
The Rock the Mic Lecture series will be hosted by the Student Engagement and Leadership. The event will be free and open to the public.
This will be the last Rock the Mic lecture for the fall semester. The series will continue in January.