Episode 10: Antoinette Tuff
Antoinette is a survivor, author, and speaker. On August 19, 2013, Antoinette was working as a bookkeeper at an elementary school in Atlanta, severely depressed because her husband of 33 years had recently left. She, now, as a single mom, was faced with the daunting challenges of raising a son with multiple disabilities and a daughter in law school. Never did she think that she would become a hero saving roughly 1,000 lives, a best-selling author, an international celebrity, an expert on community safety, the Founder and CEO of a non-profit, Kids on the Move for Success, or a guest of Michelle Obama at the State of the Union Address. The next day her life changed forever. Antoinette, an accidental hostage negotiator, used her experiences with challenging life issues to successfully convince an armed gunman to give her his AK-47. This is the only school shooter situation in the US that ended without death or injury to students, faculty, parents or the shooter himself. Experienced hostage negotiators, law enforcement, and community leaders have praised her intuitive, yet textbook, hostage negotiation skills that she used on August 20, 2013 to save roughly 1,000 lives. When I came across Antoinette’s story and saw that she speaks about it, I knew this would be the perfect way to conclude the first season of this podcast. Negotiation spans much farther into our lives than just sales, and there’s no better example of that than what Antoinette experienced that day. Antoinette’s story is so incredible, in 2018 it got the recognition it deserved when Seven-time Grammy Award winner, Toni Braxton, starred as Antoinette, in the movie “Faith Under Fire” for Lifetime TV. This is her story.