Iyanla Vanzant

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Iyanla Vanzant
Born Rhonda Eva Harris
(1953-09-13) September 13, 1953 (age 63)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Occupation Inspirational speaker, lawyer, spiritual teacher, author, TV personality
Years active 1980-present
Website www.iyanla.com
Part of a series of articles on
New Thought

Iyanla Vanzant (born Rhonda Eva Harris; September 13, 1953) is an American inspirational speaker, lawyer, New Thought spiritual teacher, author, life coach and television personality. She is known primarily for her books, her eponymous talk show, and her appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She can currently be seen on television as the host of Iyanla: Fix My Life,[1] and as a frequently featured guest teacher of Oprah's Lifeclass on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

Vanzant was born in Brooklyn, New York on September 13, 1953, as Rhonda Eva Harris. She was given the title "Iyanla", which means "great mother", after being initiated and ordained as a priestess in the Yoruba tradition (as mentioned in her television interview on the Conn Jackson show). She attended Medgar Evers College and Virginia Union University. Vanzant holds a Juris Doctor degree from the City University of New York School of Law. She currently resides in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.[2] She is also an ordained New Thought minister.[3]

In 2000, she was named one of the "100 most influential Black Americans" by Ebony magazine, which said that "Her books, lectures and television appearances have made her a multimedia high priestess of healthy relationships."[4] In 2012, Vanzant was listed at #7 on Watkins' Mind Body Spirit magazine list of the 100 most spiritually influential living people."[5] In 2014, she was co-speaker in Oprah's the "Life You Want Weekend" tour, which travelled to eight cities, also featuring Deepak Chopra, Mark Nepo, Elizabeth Gilbert and Rob Bell.[6]

Vanzant is an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.[7]

Filmography and bibliography[edit]


TV guest appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Simmons, Deborah (September 22, 2014). "SIMMONS: Thanks, Iyanla, for a new reality on reality TV". Washington Times. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  2. ^ "Author Biography: Iyanla Vanzant". Hay House. 
  3. ^ Vanzant, I. (2008) Tapping the Power Within: A Path to Self-Empowerment for Women. Hay House, Inc. p 283.
  4. ^ Ebony, May 1, 2000.
  5. ^ "Watkins Mind Body Spirit", issue 29 2012, "100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People."
  6. ^ Lilly Workneh (September 30, 2014). "Oprah’s ‘The Life You Want’ tour inspires thousands". The Grio. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  7. ^ Alpha Kappa Alpha Honorary Members List
  8. ^ "Iyanla Vanzant: Back from the Brink". The Oprah Winfrey Show. February 23, 2011. 

External links[edit]