Grieving mother campaigns against gun violence

Bernikia Wright
Photo Courtesy: Bernikia Wrigh

Bernikia Moore Wright, a Florida A&M University alumna, is determined to raise awareness about gun violence.

Just two months ago, Wright’s life changed drastically, when her son was fatally shot by a 17-years-old.

“I have one child and he was killed in a senseless act of gun violence,” Wright said. “Losing Jaylin, I can’t explain how hard this is for me. He was home where you are supposed to feel and be safe. He was innocent and his life was cut too short.

“Gun violence rates are increasing, in not only our area, but everywhere,” she added. “Having it hit this close to home highlights the need to raise awareness and educate the youth about the negative impact of guns.”

Wright, a native of Havana, has a flourishing clothing boutique and credits FAMU for her success. She has been a Rattler since joining FAMU’s Upward Bound program.

“During my junior and senior year of high school, I had the pleasure to be a part of the Upward Bound program,” said Wright. “I was provided academic support, social and cultural enrichment, and opportunities for personal growth. My college experience taught me to strive for the best and pave the pathway for my family.”

After graduating from FAMU magnum cum laude with a degree in social work. Wright served as a social worker but her dream was to be an entrepreneur in the fashion industry.

“While attending FAMU, I loved modeling and fashion so I decided to joined the Images Modeling Troupe,” Wright said. “A passion for fashion was instilled in me and I was inspired to launch a boutique, Be More Nothing Less. I chose a name with hopes to inspire others. In everything I do, I desire to send a positive message and motivate others to always strive for excellence.”

Bernikia Wright
Photo Courtesy: Bernikia Wrigh

According to Bethany Rackley, a longtime friend, Wright has always been skilled in the fashion world and looked forward to growing the business with her son.

“She is a dedicated fashionista that encourages others to step out of their comfort zone and try new styles,” said Rackley. “Bernikia passed down her fashion sense to her son Jaylin. Their relationship is memorable, his fly matched her fly.”

Nathalie Fisher, Wright’s best friend, is confident that Be More, Nothing Less, is a powerful platform to promote peace and reduce gun violence.

“Bernikia’s strengths are communicating and interacting with others and has an eye for fashion,” Fisher said. “She can see a person and automatically know their style and clothes size. It is amazing the talent she has for styling people. Now, her strengths can be used to voice concern with gun violence and deaths of young people. This feeling hit too close to home.”

As a former social worker, Wright was already familiar with the negative impact gun violence can have on families. The impact from losing her son has not been an easy journey. She hopes this platform will be an inspiration and save someone else child’s life.

Wright knows that this task is impossible to complete alone. She challenges the community, especially parents, to have conversations with their children and restrict access to guns among the youth.

Be More Nothing Less is more than a clothing boutique. It’s a charge and powerful message to make the right choices to have a promising future. Put the guns down and stop the violence.