Tonea Stewart to speak at Women’s League banquet Saturday

Published 10:01 pm Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Troy United Women’s League will host its annual membership banquet at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Trojan Center Ballrooms on the campus of Troy University.

The program will feature keynote speaker, Tonea Stewart from Alabama State University and the recognition of the Troy United Women’s League 2019 Distinguished Guests.

Shelia Jackson, publicity chair for the event, said the TUWL is extremely honored to have Stewart as the featured speaker for the banquet.

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“I have known Tonea since I was a young woman,” Jackson said. “I auditioned for the Broadway play, ‘Dream Girls’ at Alabama State and she chose me for the part. We have been friends since that time. I could not have a better friend to support and encourage me as she does and has done for so many others. Tonea is an amazing person and an inspiring speaker. Her words will touch of all us.”

Stewart is a native of Greenwood, Mississippi but has made her home in Montgomery since 1990.

She is the Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Alabama State University and is also a professional actress, play director, motivational speaker and national museum exhibit director.

“Tonea serves as administrator over the ASU Department of Art, Music and Theater,” Jackson said. “Her department has received great recognition and many awards, including two ‘Best Fine Arts Program’ awards. She is not only an outstanding professor, she is also a role model, motivator and mentor to the students.”

President Barack Obama honored Stewart at a White House “Champion of Change.” Her other personal awards include the Women’s Theater Festival of Memphis Film Award, the Mississippi Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the NBTF Living Legend Award, Operation Push Honoree, Emmy Award Nominee, a Gabriel Award, the New York World Fest Gold Medal Award and Image Award nominee.

“Tonea is also a well-known actress,” Jackson said. “She is best known for her role of Miss Etta Kibbee in ‘The Heat of the Night.’ She earned at NAACP Image Award nomination for the role she played in the film adaptation of ‘A Time to Kill.’”

Stewart also received a New York World Festival Gold Medal Award for the narration of Public Radio International’s series, “Remembering Slavery.”

“We are looking forward to hearing Tonea speak on Saturday night,” Jackson said. “She will have a message for all of us. We are also looking forward to recognizing our 2019 Distinguished Guests

“Each year the TUWL hosts a banquet as a way to recognize those in our community who are giving back in order to make Troy and Pike County a better place for all of us and to say thank you to our community leaders for their support and dedication.”

A small number of tickets are available for the Troy United Women’s League Banquet at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Trojan Center Ballrooms. For ticket information, contact TUWL President Lee Scott at 334-670-2585.