Born without arms and impaired use of her legs, motivational speaker and “UNarmed But Dangerous” author Tawana Williams has persevered through adversity. After doctors told her mother she wouldn’t walk or live past two weeks old, Williams not only overcame those obstacles but she surpassed them and now travels around the country sharing her story of struggle and triumph.
Since 1996, Williams has spoken at multiple churches, schools, prisons, daycares, and organizations motivating millions. She has authored five books, including “UNarmed But Dangerous,” “Mind Interrupted,” “Motivation for the Soul,” “Da-Bomb!” and “I’m Different but I Can.”
Her hope is to help others learn how to live a “no excuse” lifestyle.
As a wife, mother, author, mentor, artist, advocate, TV personality and CEO of Tawana Williams Outreach, Inc., she recently came to Oakland to give her inspiring testimony and show others that anything is possible.
From learning to tie her shoelaces, to changing her daughter’s diaper and braiding her hair, to drawing remarkable portraits all using her feet, when Williams wanted to do something she didn’t let anything stop her.
“I don’t care how hard it is, I kept trying it,” she said speaking at the Herbert Guice Academy in Oakland.
Refusing to view her physical condition as a disability, Williams has become self-sufficient and has never looked for a handout.
“I seldom think about my limitations because I’m focused on my possibilities,” she says in a statement on her website.
Using her experiences as a motivator, Williams empowered and challenged her audience to “speak what you expect” and never give up on your dreams. Her words of wisdom related to all generations and encouraged people to “make it happen for yourself.”
Having battled with a drug addiction and a stroke in which she suffered some memory loss, Williams’ motivational words resonated with those people dealing with health issues. She encouraged them saying, “Whose report are you going to believe about yourself? What do you believe about yourself?”
“Remove the word ‘try’ and say ‘do,” Williams said.
“I know that this will make lives better. It’s about being able to help people,” said Martha Brown, a member of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Oakland, who organized the speaking event.
For anyone that has not experienced Williams telling her inspiring story, her words of advice are something to live by. Reprogram your mind and tell yourself yes, she said. Be confident; stay focused with no distractions; get a mentor; and make no more excuses.
“Speak what God tells you about yourself,” Williams said. “Move in your greatness.”
For more information about Tawana Williams, visit www.tawanawilliams.com.