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Azim Khamisa

Tariq's father and FOUNDER of TKF


Azim Khamisa is an author, peace activist, thought leader, and inspirational speaker. He was born in Kenya, Africa and educated in England in mathematics, economics and international finance. He has over 45 years of experience as a successful international investment banker. Azim provides an external business perspective to the governance and operations of TKF. He has committed his life to halting the continuing cycle of violence among youth.

He became a social activist after his 20-year-old son, Tariq, a promising and wise young college student, was murdered while delivering pizzas in January 1995 by Tony Hicks, a 14-year-old gang member, in a random act of gang violence. Out of unspeakable grief and despair, he was inspired to transform his loss through the miraculous power of forgiveness. Believing that there were “victims at both ends of the gun,” Azim forgave Tony and founded the Tariq Khamisa Foundation to break the cycle of youth violence by saving lives, teaching peace, and planting seeds of hope in their future. One month after establishing the foundation, he invited Ples Felix, Tony’s grandfather and guardian, to join him. Together since November 1995, both men have brought our story and message through TKF’s Peacemaker Assembly. As a team, they have reached half a million elementary, middle, and high school students and many more millions via media broadcasts to schools and through social media, television, radio and print interviews, guiding the youth to choose a peacemaker’s life of non-violence and forgiveness. Azim has routinely provided 20-25 hours per week, pro bono, to TKF since its inception.

Azim has given over 1,000 presentations to over a million students worldwide and has served as TKF’s founder and chairperson for over 23 years. He is an emissary of peace and an international inspirational speaker with over 600 keynotes, including one to 300,000 people at the Lincoln Memorial at the Stand for Children Rally, as well as a speech to the United Nations General Assembly. In 2002, he received Search for Common Ground’s prestigious “Award for Building Better Communities.” In 2004, he participated in the Synthesis Dialogues with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and in 2006 he was given the “Spirit of Crazy Horse Award” from the Reclaiming Youth Network. In addition, Azim has been the recipient of the California Peace Prize. He is the author of four books and has been featured countless times in local, national and international media. In 2017 Azim spoke for TEDWomen. View this video here: go.TED.com/azimandples. For more information on Azim, please visit www.AzimKhamisa.com. Azim lives in La Jolla, California and is the proud father of son Tariq, daughter Tasreen and grandfather of Shahin, Khalil, and Miya.

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Ples Felix
Board of Trustee
(Tony's grandfather and BOARD OF TRUSTEE)
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Brent Arteaga-Biggs
Board of Trustee
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Salim Janmohamed
Board of Trustee
(Treasurer)
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John LeBrun
Board of Trustee
(Corporate Secretary)
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Marilyn Daniels
Board of Trustee
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Sean Horrigan, Ph.D
Board of Trustee
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Vikas Srivastava
Board of Trustee
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Allison Ohle
Board of Trustee
(Chairwoman of the Board)
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Nadia Farjood
Board of Trustee
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Tony Hicks
Board of Trustee
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Ally Keegan
Board of Trustee