Tonya McKenzie

AMA Rank 43

Author | PR Consultant | Small Business Marketing Expert | Child Trauma Survivor | Speaker and Faclitator


Author | PR Consultant | Small Business Marketing Expert | Child Trauma Survivor | Speaker and Faclitator

I am an entrepreneur, active civil servant, and principal consultant of a boutique public relations firm in Southern California, Sand & Shores PR. I have long been a youth advocate and staunch supporter of children's rights. I have coached at the youth, middle school, and high school level while serving on the Youth Council for Contra Costa County Supervisor Federal Glover. I was the first African American elected as a Director of the Oakey Chamber of Commerce  and the first African American women elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce, an appointed member of the Plan Redondo GPAC (General Plan Advisory Committee), shaping the future esthetics of this seaside city and an active member of The League of Women Voters Beach Cities.  I also serve as the President of the School Site Council at Madison Elementary School.

Have you ever had a conversation with somebody that spent time in a Federal Witness Protection Program?   I experienced gun violence at a young age in Palo Alto, CA. I was the witness to a murder at the age of four and a half years old, spent time in witness protection and have spent a lifetime moving beyond the incredible psychological impact of that incident, substance abuse, sexual assault and an unacceptable amount of family violence.  The murderer was such a menace that his parole was blocked twice by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger & Gov. Jerry Brown. It is one of the rare times that Democrats & Republicans have agreed on something. I thank them for that. You can read more about this incident in my book,  A Child's Memories of Cartoons & Murder is available online at,, major bookstores and

As a guest speaker, a tough conversation facilitator or contributor, I always look to encourage our young people and women that they can overcome any and everything thrown their way. I speak to and motivate educators and program directors to be the hero for their students that they need in their life. You can find more info on me at

Let’s work together to leave this world better than we got it! #GoodVibesOnly #AChildsMemories #BeyondBasic 


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