Vonnetta L. West
Connect. Transform. Engage.
How the Work Started
Ever since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and Elie Wiesel’s Night captured my 11th-grade heart as a learner growing up in Tuskegee, Alabama, I have had a burgeoning passion for engaging, inspiring, and influencing people toward goodness and greatness. Whether through content, compassionate action, or coaching and training, my life’s mission is the realization of connected, constructive individuals forming the “Beloved Community” that Dr. King envisioned.
Dr. West’s historical expertise and her approach to social justice inspire intense reflection — and action. In her work, Dr. West provides the context to understand where we are today — and equally important — how we create a different future. When you spend time learning with Dr. West, you recognize you are in the presence of someone who embodies love and justice.
Vonnetta is not only a teacher in my life and a shepherd to our organization, she is a friend who I deeply trust and respect. She is honest and loves truth. Where she does not know truth, she knows how to look for it and is brilliant in how she demonstrates this to others. Our world is better because she’s in it, our org is better because she’s in it, and my life is better because she’s in it.
Dr. Vonnetta West’s voice, insights, and teachings are essential for social change. She’s a nonviolent strategist and a brilliant educator on the topic of racism. Listen to her, learn from her, and allow her work to lead you into a new way of seeing and engaging the world.
Since 2014, Vonnetta has been a valuable member of The King Center team, making important contributions to the vision of the Beloved Community. She is a true student of my father’s philosophy and teachings of nonviolence and is a Lead Trainer for the Center's Nonviolence365 Education and Training. Go West Consulting is an extension of her passion for educating others and of her life commitment to continual learning and training in the areas of eradicating racism, shedding bias, and understanding the work for justice.
Whenever I listen to Vonnetta West, I always learn something I didn’t know. She brings a needed mix of intelligence, boldness, and compassion to the conversation about racism that will move you. Her voice has definitely impacted me in my personal journey to deconstruct my own attitudes of prejudice. I am so glad she has been a voice in my life.
Doc, as I call her, is one of the most authentic leaders of today; her work is an expression of her heart. Doc is truly an influencer of the influencers, she’s someone who leaders seek wisdom from. Doc embraces everything it means to be a DOER.
Dr. Vonnetta West is not only a brilliant Kingian nonviolence scholar and instructor, but a committed and effective practitioner as well. What is more striking about Vonnetta is her heart for people and her role as a loving and compassionate shepherd in a model of church more congruent with Jesus’ life and teachings than most ministries with household names. Dr. West has found relevance and significance within spaces that many find bewildering and in countries others overlook. I am happy to know her and be a beneficiary and partner in her great service to the world.
Westie, as I lovingly call her, is a socially relevant, intelligent, and extremely motivated mentor, coach, entrepreneur, writer and teacher. Her writing and research skills are phenomenal. We have worked together in Education Mentoring Programs, Global Education Opportunities, Teachers Training Workshops and Leadership Training Seminars at home and abroad. She demonstrates the ability to articulate an array of information, ideas, and concepts to extremely diverse audiences. She is a masterful teacher, incredible facilitator, creative curriculum developer and an amazing editor. Westie is an excellent communicator who sets high expectations for herself and her students. She edifies, instructs and corrects with love and compassion. Westie specializes in developing leaders of character and integrity. I am also very proud to stand with her now as she seeks to build a global legacy and influence nations through the Our Neighbor’s House Fellows Program and the Our Neighbor’s House Educational Center in Liberia, West Africa.
I have had the honor of introducing Reverend Vonnetta West to multiple classes of students at the University of Arkansas as a guest lecturer. Reverend West brings a profound and deep knowledge of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. along with a refreshing honesty. She challenges students with her thoughtful questions and unyielding commitment to Dr. King’s tenets of the Beloved Community and his principles of nonviolence. Reverend West is one of those rare individuals whose head, heart and feet are aligned in her personal mission to awaken others to the unjust, oppression that continues to exist in our country. I learn from her every time I speak with her.
Dr. West is a prolific thinker and excellent communicator. I’ve been privileged with the opportunity to watch and listen to her on many occasions and each time I leave her presence she has taught me something new. Her energy is infectious and she cares deeply about the protection of all people.
I have had the unique honor of working with Dr. West in various capacities for about one year now. She carries inside much more than a degree on paper. She embodies the tenements of the Beloved Community and it is reflected in every area of her life. Believing in the dignity of all humans is not an easy task in today’s world- neither is asking reluctant people to join you. But Dr. West has a way of presenting complex, uncomfortable material with passion and welcoming presence. She recognizes that the road of this work is long and nuanced. Her work is engaging, thought-provoking and fun. I appreciate that she has a curriculum for humans from children to adults- allowing us to start early and reminding us it is never to late to learn. She is a joy to work with.
In a time where our nation is facing a reckoning, Dr. West's Bias Challenge Training meets every person where they are and helps them consider how they can be better neighbors by looking within themselves. This training has a non-threatening way of challenging what believe about others and thinking through who we want to be as individual humans. I left with a deeper understanding of myself, and deeper care for the people around me. This is not a transactional DEI training. This is a unique training that gets eyeball to eyeball with each person in loving and care and challenges us to be better humans.
Rabbi Adam Rosenwasser
Senior Rabbi, Temple Emanuel
Vonnetta led a dynamic, insightful, and challenging session for the leadership of our synagogue. Vonnetta was a terrific facilitator, responding to all of our comments and questions with answers that made us think about our own comforts and discomforts around confronting and fighting racism.
Dr. Elizabeth Rosner
Career Path Architect
Vonnetta L. West is an amazing instructor and each time I'm in one of her classes, I learn something new or another way to dismantle bias.
"Dismantling White Supremacy" Student
Vonnetta is a gifted communicator with the ability to break down complex realities to their core.
I had the distinct pleasure of meeting and learning from Dr. Vonnetta West during one of the most transformative learning experiences I’ve had in my life. Dr. West’s thought-provoking approach to leading others to find truth is unmatched and clearly her divine calling! What a blessing it is to be in her presence and glean from her God-given wisdom!
Contact Vonnetta L. West
Get in touch with Vonnetta L. West and Go West Consulting LLC to learn more about our work and to schedule a consultation and/or training.