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Musings: Back to School

Musings: Back to School

There is a lot of excitement around this time of the year as students prepare to return back to school, moving forward to the next grade. I am excited each year to speak to students on the principles of nonviolence and to inspire them to become engaged leaders that are committed to peacemaking and peacebuilding in themselves, their families, schools and respective communities.
Each school year, I am blessed to do 40 to 50 presentations to students of all ages promoting nonviolence, accountability, empathy, compassion, forgiveness, and peacemaking. Read on to learn more about the Tariq Khamisa Foundation’s most recent school statistics and progress. With even more support through donations, our schools can be safe places to shape tomorrow’s peaceful leaders.
Over the last 24 years, I routinely spend 20 to 25 hours every week as a volunteer for Tariq Khamisa Foundation teaching kids and being involved with all aspects of the work of TKF. I am not complaining as the work is truly fulfilling and meaningful. With the grace of the Divine – I was blessed to find my purpose to save the lives of children and youth and teach how one can find healing, peace, and purpose through the act of forgiveness. The students pay rapt attention to these presentations which gives me immense hope that it is not only possible to teach these principles of nonviolence – our children are hungry for these lessons.
Since 1995, the Tariq Khamisa Foundation has touched over 2 million youth through its Safe School Model. The Safe School Model provides valuable education at the individual level to challenging students that may be on a slippery slope, educational services to the entire student body, and training to faculty and parents.
Since Inception, TKF has had an impressive reach both in San Diego and other parts of the country and the world.
• 127,333 students have attended Peacemaker Assemblies
• 9,224 young people have participated in TKF facilitated educational curriculum
• 2,360 youth have received individualized mentoring services from TKF
• 550,000 San Diego Children have attended TKF presentations or workshops
• The TKF story has reached more than 2 million individuals through public
broadcasting series, educational networks, conferences, published articles, news stories, and other media outlets
By way of example – during the school year 2018 to 2019, TKF programs reached over 14,000 students.
  • 14,240 individuals
  • 32 Peacemaker Assemblies, 15 schools, 8,300 youth
  • Restorative Workshops: 115 classes, 9 schools, 3385 students
  • Mentoring – 4 San Diego schools, 66 mentees, +1065 students’ indirect services at schools

I strongly recommend attending one of our school assemblies (See List here). They are life-changing presentations that have students highly engaged often in pin-drop silence as we share TKF’s Forgiveness Story. Feel free to send a request to and they will add you to our invite list to attend one of our powerful assemblies. And YES, if you have children between the ages of 11 to 16 please bring them along for a lifetime learning of the principles of nonviolence and the importance to become engaged leaders in their schools and communities to promote peacebuilding!
You will be shocked to read these facts:
• The National incarceration cost for 1 person is $148,000
• Students’ ages 12-18 are victims of 1.9 million crimes at school
• From 1972-2012 out-of-school suspension rates increased by 300%
and youth incarceration rates rose by 400%
• A youth suspended at school is 5x more likely to commit a crime
• 60% of youth (all demographics) will experience some type of trauma
What breaks my heart is that at any given time there are many schools on our waiting list for the safe school model. The list keeps growing and TKF has limited resources to be able to satisfy all the kids that are in need of our programs. School budgets are also experiencing cuts, so they are not able to pay for all the important services our children need and deserve. All the TKF Board members including me volunteer time and talent and we also donate to TKF.
It is my hope that you will consider donating generously as our children return back to school so TKF can reach and save the lives of more children and youth. This is IMPORTANT to do as they are all our children and our future leaders. Many thanks for your support and wishing all an empowering month!
Peace and many blessings,
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Azim Khamisa

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