"i Live For... is an incredibly important organization that offers much needed support to those who too often suffer in silence." - Dr. Michael Eric Dyson

About ILF

We get it. The idea of having a mental illness is scary. It feels lonely, debilitating and hopeless. Talking about it seems impossible. Who wants to be saddled with that stigma, right?

But, here’s the thing, you’re not alone. 1 out of 5 people will face a mental disorder at some point in their lives. Depression is so widespread it’s become the #1 disability in the world. Silence is no longer an option. It’s time to kick the taboo to the curb and get real about our mental health. By facing our issues head on we can reclaim our lives!

i Live For…  is a  501 (c)(3) not-for-profit committed to ending the cultural stigma of depression, anxiety and other mental disorders in teenagers and young adults of color. Using short films, live events and social media to inform, inspire and connect, iLF… creates a safe space for honest, unapologetic conversations about mental health in our communities.

About Nikki

i Live For… was founded with love by Nikki Webber Allen

I created i Live For… in honor of my 22-year old nephew Paul who, on July 3, 2013, ended his life after years of battling crippling depression and anxiety disorder.

Paul was special. He was funny, kind and had a rare combination that was equal parts intellectual and cool. He was an honors student who attended Morehouse College on a full, 4-year academic scholarship. He was a voracious reader who knew so much about politics, sports and pop culture that his nickname was “Mr. Google.” He dreamt of someday being a writer. It breaks my heart to think about who he could have been. Maybe the next Ta-Nehisi Coates or Lin Manuel Miranda? Many people wondered how this could have happened to someone like Paul with so much to live for.

The heartbreaking truth is that it happens far more often than people think. In communities of color, we don’t talk about our mental health. Depression is viewed as a sign of weakness, vulnerability or something that only happens to white people. But depression doesn’t discriminate. It’s a medical condition that like diabetes, cancer or a broken arm needs to be treated in order to heal. It’s not something you can just “get over” if you “think positive” or even “pray over it.” (Side note, I do believe in the power of prayer… along with an effective treatment plan).

The good news is depression doesn’t have to be a death sentence. It’s treatable. Countless people, myself included, have learned to manage their symptoms through methods like talk therapy, medication, mindfulness practices, and a healthy diet & exercise, and have gone on to find a renewed sense of purpose in their lives.

My life is a testimony. Nowadays, I live for telling stories that help young people, like Paul, who are lost in the fog of depression and anxiety to realize that there’s hope. By shunning the stigma of mental disorders and sharing our personal experiences, i Live For… will connect, empower and heal our communities in a deeply profound way. Together we can change the world, one story at a time.

with love,
Nikki