DeW Dish: Sonya Dunbar

In Print Issues by Anne Duffy

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is working with people who are at the end of their natural life and to help provide a better quality of life for them. 

Who has been the most influential woman in your life?

My grandmother. I spent every summer with my grandmother. She was my safe place. My childhood was tremendous. My grandmother was my rock. She would load me with wisdom about life daily. She was the reason I turned to dentistry. She told me a smile is a gift you can give away and still keep for yourself. As a child I made up a game staring and smiling at people until they smiled back. That made me feel good; however, I noticed some people did not smile back. Many were ashamed of their teeth. That began my journey in dentistry: my wanting to make people feel good when they smile. My grandmother may be gone from earth, but her wisdom and wise teaching live on in me daily. 

What obstacles have you overcome in your career?

I have had to overcome salary and promotion discrimination. As an African American business owner, I have endured and am still overcoming racism in dentistry, a profession that is not very welcoming to women of color. 

What obstacles have you overcome in your life?

I have overcome the shame of being born with the disability of Dyslexia. 

What do you do to turn around a bad day?

  1. I always pray. 
  2. I remember I have to give someone permission to make me angry, and I do not give many people that permission. 
  3. I begin to think about all the things for which I am thankful, and that (having the attitude of gratitude) always makes me happy. 

What“DeW” leaders do? 

  1. I pray every day throughout the day. 
  2. I have an AMAZING personal relationship with GOD. 
  3. I am respecting my body; I work out every day. 
  4. I am careful what I allow in my body and mind. 
  5. I practice self-care and self-love every day. 
  6. I remove energy vampires from my life. 

What is your favorite Indoor/Outdoor Activity?

I love golf and tennis. 

What famous person living or dead would you like to have lunch with and what would you ask them?

Maya Angelou. I would not say anything. I would just listen and allow her to pour wisdom into my life. 

They are playing your theme song as you walk on stage. Name that tune!

I have two: “Conqueror” by Estelle and “The Champion” by Carrie Underwood. 

What is the best gift you ever received?

Mr. Gerald Dunbar (my husband)