The news is filled with heart wrenching stories of violence against youth and by youth in America. Although rates of youth violence have actually decreased in recent years, the only acceptable rate is zero.
Fortunately, there are many people and organizations across the country who are doing something about youth violence, diligently working to overcome their own grief, rise above the despair, make a difference and break the cycle.
Khamisa and Felix are working together toward a brighter future and a better tomorrow. Their story begins in tragedy, but it is far from over. On a tragic night in 1995, Ples Felix’s 14-year-old grandson murdered Azim Khamisa’s only son in a senseless, gang-related initiation. How do you process such a sudden, pointless death of an innocent? How do you move on?
Khamisa reached out to Felix to join him in an effort to make America a safer place for children – to not only keep kids safe from harm, but also a place where they are not influenced to inflict violence on others. Khamisa started the Tariq Khamisa Foundation nine months after his son was murdered with a mission “to create safer schools and communities through educating and inspiring children in the restorative principles of accountability, compassion, forgiveness, and peacemaking.”
More than 21 years later, Khamisa and Felix are still working together on this mission. They recently shared a TED Talk – which at the time of this writing has received over 894,000 views – where they describe their successes and the importance of forgiveness and compassion in a broken society. I encourage everyone to listen to what they have to say.
Hear their inspirational story here!