Father to share personal story of forgiveness at benefit
for Santa Monica Boys & Girls Club
SANTA MONICA–Youth advocate and peace activist Azim Khamisa, whose only son was murdered by a 14-year-old, will discuss youth violence and his journey of forgiveness at a breakfast event to benefit the Santa Monica Boys & Girls Clubs on April 30 at 7 a.m. at the Riviera Country Club, 1250 Capri Drive, Pacific Palisades.
A renowned author and acclaimed speaker, Khamisa will speak about his son’s murder, a gang initiation, which happened in San Diego while the son was delivering pizza. The killer was the first 14-year-old to stand trial as an adult in the state of California and received a 25-year prison sentence.
“There were victims at both ends of the gun,” Khamisa notes.
Through his grief, he founded the Tariq Khamisa Foundation, named for his son and dedicated to stopping youth violence through education, mentoring and restorative practice. Khamisa then reached out to the killer’s family, offering the boy a job at the foundation when his prison sentence was completed.
The breakfast event launches the B&GCSM’s inaugural “Great Futures for Kids” campaign to raise much-needed funds to support programs that help children to graduate high school and achieve self-sufficiency, along with strong character and leadership.
“We never turn away a child due to ability to pay, so the Club relies on community support to help these children achieve their potential as caring, self-sufficient adults,” says Tim Blaylock, president & CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Monica. There is no charge to attend the breakfast, but guests are asked to make a donation to sponsor a youth for a year of services at a cost of $1,000, or whatever they can give. For reservations, contact the Club at 310-381-8500 or email Adrianne@smbgc.org.
Founded in 1944, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica works to inspire and enable all young people to reach their full potential as caring, responsible and productive citizens. Through membership and outreach, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica currently serves approximately 8,000 youth across its 10 sites throughout Los Angeles County. Members come from 131 different ZIP codes, with the majority of members coming from Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, West Los Angeles and Inglewood. For more information, visit www.smbgc.org or follow them on Facebook (facebook.com/smbgcfan) and Twitter (twitter.com/SMBGC).