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F O U N D I N G    D I R E C T O R

Azurae Johnson Redmond​

Mother holding her baby

NAACP award-winning Global Nonprofit Founding Director, Certified Grief Coach, Author, Forward Writer and International Speaker of Young, Black & Widowed®, Azurae Johnson Redmond, has passionately served the global widowed community since YBW nonprofit's founding during the pandemic in 2020.


Azurae was widowed-by-lung-cancer at the age of 27 in 2017, while 5 months pregnant and with their 10-month-old on her hip. She transformed her life by providing inclusive peer grief support and many other programs to over 3,000+ widows and widowers of all ages, nationalities, faiths and orientations worldwide. Her journey is documented in the newly released book, "Widowed Parents Unite" by Jenny Lisk, of which she was honored to be the foreword writer and a contributing author. She has presented about her widowhood journey on several international stages, including Soaring Spirits International's Camp Widow.

Since YBW's founding her volunteer management has supported the production of 33,630+ volunteer hours. A few highlights include the execution of 2,334+ widow(er) peer support groups, with each session represented by 1-4 highly-trained widow(er) peer supporters, as well as 2,836+ support line calls with 77 callers desiring connection to voluntary crisis intervention. Additionally, she is honored to lead the Modern Widows Club nonprofit’s global "Black Widows Community,” serve as a Regional Peer Support Group Leader for Soaring Spirts International, serve on the Board of Directors of NAMI, the National Alliance of Mental Illness, and support her minority community through NAMI Chattanooga's "Sharing Hope" peer support program.

For her efforts in advancing black mental health worldwide, as well as her service to her Chattanooga community through advocacy on several nonprofit boards, she has been named as one of Tennessee's Top African-American Women by the state-wide Tennessee Tribune and earned the NAACP Ruby Hurley Image Award for Community Activism. 

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S T R A T E G I E S 


The mission of Young, Black & Widowed® nonprofit is to "Advance Black Widow(er)s Mental Health Worldwide through Peer Grief Support & Global Resource Connection."

W H A T   W E   A I M   TO   S O L V E

Widow(er)s nationwide are 8x more likely than the general population to die by suicide as they navigate the #1 life stressor on the Holmes and Rahe stress scale -the death of a spouse. The core of our programs are focused on suicide prevention of widow(er)s, those who were unwed when their life partner passed and the soon-to-be-widowed with partners on hospice. Though our focus is on minority populations, we serve widow(er)s of all ages, nationalities, faiths and orientations worldwide.

Our strategies to accomplish our mission stem from multiple programs such as our global daily peer support line, multiple daily global virtual peer support groups, global casework resource research to connect widow(er)s to resources / organizations in their unique cities worldwide, one-on-one grief coaching options virtually and in person, educational grief support presentations on national and international stages, educational presentations on young people's grief for university students earning CEUs, giving the "Matthew Holt Redmond International Memorial Scholarship" to widow(er)s returning to college post-loss to improve generational wealth, distributing an informative podcast hosting estate planners / funeral home directors / community supporter / personal accounts from widow(er)s across the globe, facilitating local Chattanooga "Kiddos of the Widowed" weekly play dates at kid-friendly attractions and local Chattanooga pet-therapy from Certified "Love on a Leash" Therapy Dog, Siberian Husky Winter.

B O A R D   M E M B E R S


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At Young, Black & Widowed, we are focus on being transparent with open play book in our every day work. We know what matters to our target community, constantly take feedback and are committed to advancing Black Mental Health Worldwide through peer grief support, connection to resources and our many programs. As a result, we have developed unique values that guide us:

Impact is our business. We build personal, professional relationships, supporting individual widow(er)s mental health across the globe for an average of 2 years.

We respect differences, celebrate diversity, lead with intentionality, and build an equitable community together, by serving widow(er)s of all ages, nationalities, faiths and religions.

We lead with a servant's heart, as all our leaders are volunteers.

We build relationships that foster trust and respect with our worldwide partners.

We always challenge our processes. We are always ready to pivot, if needed, to seize opportunities for improvement in our progressive nonprofit.

We learn continuously by attending and presenting at international conferences for the widowed, and we invite widow(er) researchers, coaches, authors, speakers and other nonprofit founders to present to our widow(er)s community each week. Our board also is a part of several other national mental health boards of directors, and we aim to stay in-the-know and share about opportunities and advances in mental health support.

Jamaya Benboe - Tallahassee

Shateka Johnson - New York City

Brittany Jones - Los Angeles

Azurae Redmond - Chattanooga

Tonia Wilson - Detroit

B L A C K   W I D O W ( E R ) S    
M E N T A L    H E A L T H    A L L I A N C E

Tenisha Grissom - Chattanooga

Maya Tyler  - Washington DC

LaSandra Hutchinson  - Chicago

Petra Gordon  - Toronto 🇨🇦

Connie Gilmore-Dizard  - Baltimore

Tiran Jackson - Atlanta

Alex Freeman - Chattanooga

Juanetta White - New Orleans

Laethycia Simms - France 🇫🇷

Katori Roussel  - Jacksonville

Abi Shotade  - London 🇬🇧

Johnetta Langston  - Chattanooga

Niko Sheppard-Cook  - Tulsa

Kimberly Johnson  - Cincinnati

Daniel Lynch Shaw  - Dallas

Jan Mitchell - Indianapolis

Kashaun Parker  - Denver

Marketta Davis  - Tampa

Johni Cruse Craig - Atlanta

Sade Adesina Ariyo  - Denver

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