Karen Okonkwo

Karen Okonkwo is a Nigerian-American social entrepreneur based in Seattle. She became an avid blogger in 2013 while in college. However, she struggled to find photos that represented the existing diversity she saw in real life around her. Her experience and concern with the disparity of image diversity in the online world impassioned her to provide what the web has been missing.

In 2016 she co-founded TONL, a stock photography company dedicated to providing access to beautiful, real world images of individuals of diverse ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, body types, sexual orientations, genders, and ages. Karen believes that increasing the breadth and richness of people represented in our digital social and commercial landscapes is critically important for engendering inclusivity and greater empathy in our community and world. TONL also takes its unique photographic services further by complementing their images with the personal narratives of those photographed. With customers like Google, the Urban Indian Health Institute, POPSUGAR and Sundial Brands, TONL is establishing itself as an innovative and honest resource for images that impact our sensibilities and enhance our connection to the world around us.

A graduate of Arizona State University’s Business School, Karen’s personal motto is “…To aspire to inspire before you expire. Be somebody’s beacon.” She has founded various companies in the event planning and online business realms; and continues to support and encourage inclusive diversity through her businesses and volunteer efforts within the community. She’s passionate about being a voice for the voiceless.

TONL Instagram | TONL Twitter 

Get the latest TEDxSeattle news

* = required field

What is TEDx?

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxSeattle, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxSeattle event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.