Vonda joined the United Rubber Workers (URW) in 1992 at the Bridgestone-Firestone Lavergne Plant, where she has worked for the last 26 years. Shortly after joining the Union, she became a Shop Steward which began her Union journey. In 1995, URW merged with the United Steelworkers (USW), opening up new opportunities for her as a young activist. Vonda was trained in the USW’s Women of Steel initiative, which equipped her with vital tools to become a leader in her Union and community. She went on to become a trainer in the program herself. After 10 years as a local Union Pension and Insurance Representative, Vonda was elected President of the Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle Tennessee in 2013.
Growing up in Nashville, Vonda’s activism continues to be shaped by the influence of the church she grew up in. First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill was an early center of student organizing during the civil rights movement. There she learned how ordinary people can make extraordinary change.
In this moment when the sanitation strikes of TN workers are being re-examined, Vonda understands that intention collaboration at the intersections of labor, civil rights, faith and student activism can bring us closer to the promise of equality for all and build real power for transformative change.
Vonda is a graduate of TN State University. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc, A. Philip Randolph Institute Nashville Chapter, and CBTU. She was recently appointed to the TN State Workforce Investment Board and serves as Vice-Chair of Board for the Music City Center. Vonda is a Co-Chair of the State Fed/CLC Advisory Committee. In October 2017, she was elected as a Vice- President to the national AFL-CIO Executive Council.