Tonille Watkins - Actress, Motivational Speaker, Dancer & Goodwill Ambassador to The Republic of Sierra Leone

Tonille is the first Jamaican- American to be crowned Miss Black USA and the third Miss Black Connecticut to capture the national crown. She hails from Bloomfield, CT, the hometown of actress Anika Noni Rose- voice of Disney’s first black princess. Having attended high school at Classical Magnet School in Hartford, CT, Tonille spent much of her childhood spending summer breaks in Clarendon, Jamaica with her mother, Valerie Campbell, in their family home.

Tonille graduated with a B.F.A in Theatre from Adelphi University in New York and a diploma in Classical Acting from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She was also a member of the Adelphi University Cheerleading team. Tonille has been touring New York and Connecticut for three years with her empowerment initiative entitled, “No Boxes Allowed,” named after her auto-biographical one- woman play about her quest to debunk the stereotypes surrounding black womanhood and embrace her true identity. Tonille has performed No Boxes Allowed at a number of off- Broadway theaters including, the SoHo Playhouse, and Theatre 54 in the AND Go Solo Play Festival.

Tonille is an active member of the North United Methodist Church and the Greater Hartford community. As a director of youth ministry, Tonille strives to empower Connecticut’s youth with her talents and inspire them through leadership and ministry to discover and fulfill their true purpose.

Tonille will now use her reign to serve as a national advocate for the Heart Truth campaign to raise awareness of heart disease, the leading cause of death of women in the United States. To learn more about the Heart Truth visit www.hearttruth.org.