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Tariq Khamisa Foundation

The mission of the Tariq Khamisa Foundation is to create safer schools and communities through educating and inspiring children in the restorative principles of accountability, compassion, forgiveness, and peacemaking.

Our Story

Tariq Khamisa Foundation is dedicated to teaching and inspiring peace, hope, and forgiveness in youth and setting them on a path towards opportunity. With the goal of creating safer schools and communities, our character-building programs teach children the principles of accountability, compassion, forgiveness, and peacemaking. The programs and curricula TKF provides instills hope for those vulnerable due to exposure to violence, crime, harm, and poverty. 

TKF was founded in 1995, after college student Tariq Khamisa was killed by a 14-year-old gang member, Tony Hicks. Tony was tried as an adult and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Tariq’s father, Azim Khamisa, felt this tragedy created victims on both ends of the gun. Azim, in an act of extraordinary grace and forgiveness, reached out to Tony’s grandfather, Ples Felix. The two men came together in the spirit of healing to end youth violence.

Our Impact

TKF Peacemaker Assembly Impacts


500 school presentations


85% learned lessons on being kind to others


73% learned how to resolve anger and conflict without violence

TKF Restorative Workshop Impacts


86% learned how to take actions to prevent or resolve problems


82% learned to be positive about themselves


76%  learned how to be peacemakers

TKF Peace Educator Impacts


A school data analysis revealed for TKF mentored youth


Misconduct levels declined by 67%


Truancy levels declined by 72% 

TKF Is Creating Safer Schools


TKF’s Safe School Model had an active campus presence at a local middle school for three years. During that time the school’s


Suspension Rates Declined
from 16.7% to 6.1%

  • Spanish Teacher, Knox Middle School


    "I was so touched and so moved by the empathy, love, and forgiveness in your hearts that lead you to inspire and empower others. What a beautiful hour that was for me. Thank you for the work you do. The world needs more people like all of you at TKF.”


  • Azim Khamisa, Tariq's father and Founder of TKF


    "From the onset, I saw victims on both ends of the gun. I will mourn Tariq's death for the rest of my life. Now, however, my grief has been transformed into a powerful commitment to change. Change is urgently needed in a society where children kill children."


  • 7th Grader, Rancho Del Ray Middle School


    “The TKF curriculum classes taught me how to be a better person.”


  • 5th Grader, Spring Valley Academy


    “I learned about kindness and being a good friend. I made new friends at the TKF Peace Club.”


  • 10th Grader, Chula Vista High School


    “The TKF Assembly honestly made me expand my knowledge on how to "think" and make wise decisions and to never resort to violence. Violence is never the answer. This impacted my school greatly because it opened the eyes of many.”


Transforming Children's Lives

TKF teaches children a peaceful approach to problem solving, reconciliation, conflict management, and relationship building that ensures safety and dignity for everyone. We partner with schools to offer the TKF Safe School Model that incorporates a continuum of proven effective programs.


All TKF programs are based on our guiding principles:


  Violence is real and hurts everyone

  Actions have consequences

 Youth can make good and nonviolent choices

  Youth can work toward forgiveness as opposed to seeking revenge

  Everyone deserves to be loved and treated well

  From conflict, love and unity are possible

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