Posts tagged "HIV/AIDS"


Making a fashion statement in today’s  age is more than rockin’ the latest trends! Verneda Adele White combined her style for powerful social change. She’s the Founder and Creative Director of HUMAN INTONATION, the premium, charity-driven apparel brand dedicated to raising awareness while donating 20% of each sale to pertinent social & human rights issues. Following her family’s personal experience with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and the loss of her closest cousin and best friend to AIDS, Verneda began designing men and women’s graphic tees, tank tops, and dresses made from her own original patterns, using organic materials, to draw attention to re-building efforts in the Gulf Coast.

Her national platform of using fashion for social change, related community events, and speaking engagements has since extended to education for children in Darfur, rebuilding Haiti, and the brand’s primary focus on HIV/AIDS prevention, testing, and treatment. Verneda has received support from the likes of Usher Raymond, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Wyclef Jean, and Hydeia Broadbent, in addition to lifestyle mogul B. Smith who wore her own Human Intonation tee during a cooking segment on The Wendy Williams Show. Human Intonation has been covered by VH1, the Black AIDS Institute, NV Magazine, Black Enterprise, AOL, and Uptown Magazine


Let’s get to know Verneda Adele White of HUMAN INTONATION a little better!

HUMAN INTONATION is an awesome charity driven apparel brand, please share with our audience what inspired this concept.

My greatest inspiration is the opportunity to impact the lives of others through fashion. As a premium, charity-driven apparel brand, HUMAN INTONATION® (H.I.) is dedicated to using fashion as a platform to raise awareness and funding for a number of social and human rights issues. Originally inspired by my family’s personal experience with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, I started Human Intonation as a creative space to raise funds for recovery efforts in New Orleans. During my first volunteer trip to rebuild New Orleans, I had the opportunity to meet and was inspired to pursue my vision by one of music’s true artists, Usher, who not only continues to give back, but has been a supporter of Human Intonation since our inception. In the same year following Katrina, I lost my closest cousin to AIDS when he and I were both just starting out in life after college. These were two back to back life experiences that greatly shaped my entrepreneurial spirit, and continue to inspire me to use Human Intonation to champion causes that impact us globally.

Today, Human Intonation is an international platform with related events, partnerships, and speaking engagements, along with working with Non-profit organizations to develop compelling apparel that meets their branding and fundraising needs. While our primary focus is HIV/AIDS prevention, testing and treatment, our brand is accessible, not only in giving voice to social and human rights issues that affect all of us, but in being the most wearable, soft, organic, and uniquely cut conscious t-shirts and tank tops you will find.

How has fashion and style shaped and impacted your lifestyle?

I have always loved all things fashion, from producing fashion shows to developing my own original t-shirts for our H.I. Collection, but my journey with fashion and how it impacts my lifestyle is constantly evolving. As a personal lifestyle, I feel I am often more in tuned with the rhythm of the business of fashion than with any one particular style of the moment. Sometimes I’m on trend and sometimes I walk to the beat of my own drum. I want to be comfortable and stand out all at once, and when I really want to rock something special I call my stylist @MsDaniDK. What fashion gives me is pure adrenaline, motivation, creativity, and belief that anything is possible. I seem to have super human strength during Fashion Week (New York and London) while attending, getting my hands into production, and reviewing as many shows as possible. As a brand, I am constantly looking at fashion, but our silhouettes and designs are inspired by our customers and followers. One of my biggest lessons in business has been to understand that the end product is not always going to be what I would wear. It’s truly about what our customers want.

What message do you hope people will receive and act on by purchasing HUMAN INTONATION designs?

For us, the power in Human Intonation is that we are able to inspire people to start the conversation about social and human rights issues in a way that can change perceptions, change choices, change lives. With the designs and messages in our collections, we often include a call to action to empower individuals to have a positive impact on their own lives or the lives of others. When it comes to HIV/AIDS prevention, testing, and treatment, it is my hope through Human Intonation that even one family may have a different experience than my own. It is important for all to understand that HIV is 100% preventable, and it starts with each person taking the action of getting tested and knowing your status. Currently, I am excited to be featured in the “Bare It All” Ad campaign ( from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to raise awareness for sexual health, and encourage all, including LGBTQ New Yorkers, to talk openly and honestly with their doctor about their sex lives and drug use in order to receive the treatment and services one may need.

What are 3 pieces of advice you would give to girls who wanted to pursue their dreams but are too nervous to start?

First and foremost, bringing any idea, business, or creative dream to life is not easy, no matter your age, background or level of education. With that being said:
Girls who set out to make their dreams a reality should know you are already ahead of the game just by making a beginning. I am constantly reminding myself there are so many who dream but never attempt to try. Start by writing your dreams down or making a vision board to make it concrete. Believe in your vision. To be successful you must first believe in yourself.

Learn to forgive yourself. Be fearless and unafraid of making mistakes because mistakes and setbacks will happen no matter how hard you try to avoid them. Do your best to learn the lesson, and keep pressing forward. In my experience, everything happens for a reason.

To jumpstart your dreams, put yourself in the best position possible by planning how you will take care of yourself. If you are making the leap from a steady paycheck to “do what you love, the money will follow,” put your savings together before you leap. Following your dreams always costs more than you think it will. Fortunately, it’s worth every penny.

We tend to pull characteristics from others in our lives or from people we admire, who inspires you and why?

At the moment, I am completely inspired and draw my energy from all the #BlackGirlMagic in the world. Parts of my character, from my determination to my unbridled ambition, comes from the #BlackGirlMagic in my life whether drawing from other women entrepreneurs, the imagination sparked by a Beyoncé or Serena Williams, or the very special #BlackGirlMagic that my mom has created in her lifetime. My mom, better known as Dr. Darlene Riggins White, was not only the first African-American woman to be accepted and graduate from the University of Buffalo’s School of Dentistry, she went on to become the first African-American woman to own her own dental practice in the western half of New York State. I am proud I have my mom’s entrepreneurial spirit! I had an opportunity to write about my love for all things #BlackGirlMagic earlier this year in my Huffington Post blog:

We are all about empowerment, What does EMPOWERMENT mean to you?

For me, the ultimate form of empowerment is the being comfortable in one’s own skin. That’s what I strive to give to myself and others each day. Being comfortable in one’s own skin lends to being confident, to know that you can do it, you can survive even the most challenging situations, and be stronger for it on the other side. Don’t be discouraged by the naysayers. Naysayers come in many different forms, but each of us has everything we need inside to make a difference in our lives and to have a positive impact on the lives of others. When I made the decision to start HUMAN INTONATION by developing t-shirts from my own original patterns, to source my own fabric and build my own supply chain it was because I knew I could do it, but more importantly I wanted our t-shirts, tanks, and dresses to be able to empower others down to the very core of our brand. Education is also key, and in business it is critical to be both book and street savvy. Hone your craft and never stop learning. You never know when you will be able to take what you’ve learned and empower someone else.

 Time for the Faves! Celeb Crush? Artist? Food? Movie?

I love this question!
Celeb crushes: Kofi Siriboe, I mean how can anyone not… but I can’t front like I haven’t fallen head over heels for Sterling K. Brown. Idris is still in the game because he will simply never go out of style.
Artist: Kanye, Solange and Kendrick Lamar (current), Lenny Kravitz and Stevie Wonder (classic)
Food: I am a total foodie which means I am always up for trying just about anything from around the world. If I have to choose, I would say my palate stays close to home with fried catfish, collard greens, homemade baked mac n cheese, or a pot of gumbo.
Movie: Again a tough one (of all time) … Coming to America

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