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Statistics say that as an African-American male, chances for Raymond are favorable for either being incarcerated, unemployed, addicted to drugs, or murdered by the police. For more than four decades, Raymond has spent his life defying odds.

Instead of becoming another statistic, Raymond has excelled as a passionate advocate, savvy entrepreneur, visionary artist, thought-provoking writer, and inspiring teacher. And these are only a few words people have used to capture the essence of Raymond E. Thomas, Jr.  

After his matriculation at Morgan State University, Raymond began his career as a curriculum writer at Johns Hopkins Hopkins University. His desire to be a catalyst for change, coupled with a passion for writing and creativity, took him out of text books and into a Baltimore city classroom where he could not only teach, but have a more direct impact on youth who were also slated to become everything he has defied.

He later transitioned into the nonprofit sector where, for more than a decade, Raymond has spent his career working in various project management roles for national associations and other non-profits advocating for under-served and under-represented communities.

While teaching, Raymond also learned the advantages of entrepreneurship. He has since launched multiple businesses-- a graphic design company, his own jewelry line, Asunder by Ray, and now, MotiRAYtion.

In the midst of a rewarding career, growing business endeavors, assisting in the start of a new church, the debut and  tour of his first stage play, and myriad other personal and professional milestones, his life came to a raging halt in 2007 when doctors told his family to prepare for the worse after an intense battle with congestive heart failure.

Having looked death in the face, Raymond's "rebirth" represents a resurgence of all the things that really matter in life. He believes that within each of us there is an  individual treasure of resiliency that must be discovered in order to not only overcome any obstacle, but to do so with grace, walk away with lessons learned, and use that experience as a building block.  Each of us possess an indelible fingerprint of life that we must live with and then leave to linger for those who come behind us. As such we must own and write the narrative of how our mark defines us. He lives by a quote paraphrased from Gracie Allen,  "never anchor a period where God has penciled a comma."

Raymond now has plans to pursue a mortuary science degree in the near future, with aspirations of owning his own funeral home. It has been a lifelong dream of his, but also serves as a personal reminder of what he has overcome and all that life has to offer.

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