Tonya LynchFounder of The Black Light Project Greenville, NC Award Year: 2022
Tonya Lynch felt burdened by the negative representations of Black males in the media and set out to challenge existing narratives by creating The Black Light Project, a photography and documentary endeavor that challenges pervasive negative perceptions of Black men presented by the media. Instead, it presents Black males as supporters, investors and contributors to society, while acknowledging the need to create positive, effective change against stereotypes of the Black community. Lynch is a member of the North Carolina Black Entrepreneurship Council, which leads its parent foundation, NC IDEA, in its programmatic and grant-making ambitions to address the challenges of Black entrepreneurship in North Carolina. The Council works closely with the Foundation to identify, recommend and support partners and programs to serve the entrepreneurial aspirations and economic potential of North Carolina’s Black community, thereby combating the economic inequality that perpetuates racial disparities.