Oakland’s own peace crusaders

In 2000, Marilyn Washington Harris’ son Khadafy was shot and killed while riding his bike in West Oakland. While the crime remains unsolved, Harris’s experience inspired her to found the Khadafy Washington Foundation for Non-Violence. About three months after his murder, Marilyn began to reach out to other families who had recently lost someone to a homicide. Today, it’s her full-time job: grieving families can turn to Marilyn and the Foundation for help with everything from funeral expenses to counseling, food, and child care. Since 2003, the program has reached out to over 800 families. Harris has been tireless in her work with affected families and friends, working to stop the cycle of violence and preventing retaliatory crimes.

In Oakland, we know that violence isn’t limited to one city or “bad” neighborhood. It impacts all of us, everywhere. More than anything, the foundation works to make sure that victims and their families are seen as people, not statistics. For the holidays, we partnered with the Khadafy Washington Foundation to make a calendar in memory of the friends, family and neighbors that Oakland lost to violence last year — putting faces and names to the numbers.

Proceeds from the Khadafy Calendar will support the work of Marilyn Harris and the Khadafy Washington Foundation for Non-Violence. You can also read an excellent profile of Harris in this article from San Francisco Magazine.