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Meet Mahogany Clayton, Jalah Clayton, and Tristan Marrow of The Black Light Foundation

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mahogany Clayton, Jalah Clayton, and Tristan Marrow.

The Black Light Foundation was founded on July 18, 2019. Jalah Clayton, Mahogany Clayton, and Tristan Marrow created this non-profit organization in an effort to shed light on a dark place — the stigma surrounding mental health. Following the loss of Claudia Clayton, we filled the void in our lives with a purposeful light and managed to redirect our pain and grief into something impactful and commemorative. Less than two months after the loss of our beloved mother and aunt, we incorporated The Black Light Foundation. There is an immense need to raise awareness for and provide resources toward mental health within the Black and Caribbean communities and we plan to help resolve that.

This foundation will provide more than resources and do more than build awareness. It will serve as a catalyst for change and help end the stigma around mental health and wellness. Today, we are just beginning. However, we have already built an amazing support system, raised over $3,000 and have two events in motion in just the first two months, since our inception.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
We created a non-profit organization only two months after losing one of the most important people in our lives as a means of coping with grief. With all of the positive and impactful intent we are trying to have with this organization, we are also managing our own healing journeys. The work is not easy; healing is difficult and uncomfortable; grieving and mourning at the same time as being productive is a daily challenge that we must choose to fight through each day. We recognize this mission is so much larger than ourselves, all while understanding that Claudia Clayton’s story and our testimony must be shared in order to help someone else.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into The Black Light Foundation story. Tell us more about the business.
The mission of The Black Light Foundation is to honor the memory of the late, Claudia Clayton, by bringing light to dark places for individuals suffering from suicidal thoughts and mental health issues by providing the necessary resources for emotional support, education, and intervention.

Our goals are to support this mission through fundraising and programming aimed toward Black and Caribbean populations that offer education, enlightenment, and empowerment along the journey of navigating mental health. Much like our motto, “Find your light, find your power,” we believe that by normalizing the discussion and dialogue around mental health and providing opportunities for this discussion to happen, we can have a meaningful impact.

We are so proud to be carrying the legacy our mom and aunt started. Changing the world with her light was something she enjoyed and deemed important, so to be able to create an organization that does that is very fulfilling. Her story is what makes us different. We understand the importance of mental wellness because we’ve all lived in different capacities. We have seen a person who was a light for others but struggled with her own darkness. Claudia was someone people looked for to help find their joy, all while she lived with depression.

The passion behind this story can’t be duplicated. It is a unique and extremely personal situation that we are unfortunately living with, but we want to help others who are also living with similar stories and hopefully prevent the repetition of this story as well.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Everything in life happens for a reason. In most cases, it’s how you respond to those situations and scenarios that determines your outcome.

With regard to luck, it’s hard to quantify good or bad luck in our case. We, as a collective like to think of life as a series of adversities and blessings and how we leverage our blessings against those adversities. Our story started with something painful and we decided to build something meaningful.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
gym photos: Phillip Lewis

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