Azim Khamisa speaks to students and adults on nonviolence, forgiveness and peace-building, and he is a founder of two nonprofit organizations that target youth violence.

Why you should listen

Azim Khamisa writes: "I emigrated to the USA in 1974 to escape violence in Kenya, where we were a targeted minority. But 22 years ago, my only son, Tariq, who was a university student and worked a part-time job as a pizza delivery man, was killed by a 14-year-old gang member in a gang initiation ritual. Tariq was only 20 years old when he died, and needless to say it brought my life to a crashing halt. He was a good and a generous kid!

"However, even clouded in a deeply painful tragedy I saw that there were victims on both sides of the gun. Nine months after Tariq died, I founded the Tariq Khamisa Foundation (TKF). Our mission is to save lives of children, empower the right choices and teach the principles of nonviolence — of empathy, compassion, forgiveness and peacemaking. I forgave my son's killer and invited his grandfather to join me in TKF's work. With the grace of God, TKF is 22 years old and has a safe school model and is successfully keeping kids away from gangs, weapons, drugs, crime and violence. The grandfather and I are still together doing this work, and the kid who killed my son is now 36 years old and he will join us when he is paroled in October 2018. I have authored four books and speak worldwide to students and adults. I am a passionate peace activist and a teacher of nonviolence, forgiveness and spawning peacemakers."

Azim Khamisa’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Azim Khamisa

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