Family Defined Uses Power of Storytelling to Open Minds and Hearts

April 18, 2019

What defines a family? Is it genetics? A legal contract? Parents and children living under the same roof? Or is it something more? The 21st century family model appears to transcend any clear-cut definition and instead, according to Ruby Taylor of Baltimore, Maryland, encompasses the people who show up and want to be there. 


Taylor is the founder of , which launches on May 3. It’s is an online space for people to celebrate their loved ones. But more importantly, she says she hopes that her organization – through the power of storytelling - will help people shake free of their preconceptions and open their minds to the reality of diverse familial bonds. She and her wife know firsthand of the bias that can come with what some perceive as an unconventional relationship - yet they have also experienced from those in their own relatives who originally opposed their union.


Family Defined’s tongue-in-cheek management structure is non-traditional as well, comprised of Taylor’s children. Five-year-old Nia, is a co-founder and Chief Family Officer, and six-year-old Javier, is a co-founder and leads Family Quality Control. Taylor, who is also called Sunshine, is known as Family in Chief. She is also an accomplished entrepreneur and community builder as well as an award-winning documentarian, author and former school social worker. She is also the survivor of a traumatic brain injury from a car accident back in 2012. 


“After the accident, I had to deal with a number of challenges and was no longer able to practice as a social worker. I was in a dark place but finally came to the realization that I would take my second chance to make the world a little brighter,” said Taylor. “I am a storyteller at heart so bringing my message of joy and acceptance via Family Defined was a natural way to achieve that.”


Participating in Family Defined is simple and no-cost. complete a two-question form sharing a story of unconditional love from someone in their life – whether it’s a significant other, friend, mentor, biological family member or other source of support, along with a family photo to include the person. 


“Sometimes we wait too long to let our loved ones know exactly what they mean to us. We can change that by celebrating our family members on the Family Defined website,” added Taylor.


For more information about Family Defined, or to nominate a loved one go to

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