Dr. Oneeka Williams: Creating An Island of Positivity For Herself And Others
The Doctor is in! Meet Dr. Oneeka Williams, a surgeon, and author who has turned her attention to giving people the tools they need for success through books that empower readers to heal and elevate. She is a urologic surgeon turned author and a big dreamer, thinker, visionary, creative, healer, teacher, and Positivity Catalyst!
I had the pleasure of catching up with this busy boss lady to get to know about everything that has inspired who is has become and plans going forward!
Tell me a bit of your background and what has inspired the trajectory of your life.
Every morning that I get out of bed, I commit that I am going to express the unlimited version of myself! My Unlimited story starts at age 13, in Barbados, when I had to raise my hand to be able to take Physics! This catapulted me into an all-boys high school as the first girl in the class! This journey of learning to raise my hand, be the only one that looked like me in most environments trained me to persevere and extract the good in every situation. With the help of many cheerleaders, including my family, I have been able to chart a course to success, and I want to help others do the same.
From medicine to becoming an author, what inspired you the shift?
I am a urologic surgeon raised in Guyana by a science teacher, mother, and journalist father. Growing up, there was no television, so exploration, reading, writing, and using my imagination to transport me into worlds far beyond the shores of my country, were the foundation of my formative years. As such, it was natural to embrace writing and storytelling to make a difference. In medicine, we are detectives as well as storytellers. We listen to patient symptoms and construct a story that leads us to a differential diagnosis and allows us to communicate the history to others and simplify the information for the patient. My profession was my pathway to becoming a published author. I am one of the 0.001% of black female urologists physicians. I didn’t have any images of black female surgeons growing up, and there were no powerful black fictional characters in the books I read. I believed it was important for there to not only be representation in children’s books so that girls and children of color could see themselves as powerful and accomplished in STEM fields, but they should also see real-life examples of what is possible. As such, I was inspired to use my gift of creativity, storytelling, and writing to make a difference. I am still a practicing urologic surgeon.
Tell me about your book series?
Do you know that by the time girls are six years old, they already believe that they can’t pursue a career that requires brilliance? Where do these messages come from? Where do we learn about who we are before we are able to discover it for ourselves? These are the issues that have gnawed at me to the extent that I feel compelled to do what I can to change the narrative. When I created my girl superhero Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo- Super Surgeon on the GO 15 years ago, I wanted to invite my young readers into a world where they could believe that “Not Even The Sky Is The Limit!” Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo is a powerful, positive, and confident brown girl super protagonist who dispels the common childhood beliefs that scientists, surgeons, and leaders are ‘old, white men with spectacles.’
You have a new adult book. Tell me about it and what inspired you to write it? What do you want people to take away from reading it?
I created the Island of Positivity as Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo’s home, and Dr. Dee Dee’s has superpowers of positivity. More importantly, the basis of her superpowers is 5 Habits of Positivity which makes that superpower accessible and available to all of us. As I spoke around the country, parents and teachers would ask if I had a book on the 5 Habits of Positivity! NOW I DO! I also realized that if we want to create a healthier and more positive world for the next generations, we have to engage both adults and children in a culture of positivity
Not Today, Negativity is for anyone tired of the toll that negativity takes on their life and world and who wants to actively work towards developing a more positive way of approaching their daily life. I believe that we can all be Positivity Catalysts and have the ability to change the culture in any environment. This book is for anyone who desires to be transformed in their thinking so that they can not only be more emotionally, mentally, and physically healthy, but they can be a change agent in their families, classrooms, workplaces, and communities.
How can people connect with you?