The Encinitas Rotary Club has named Azim Khamisa as the recipient of its 2019 Peacemaker Award. Azim founded the Tariq Khamisa Foundation (TKF) after his only son, Tariq, was killed by a 14-year-old gang member, Tony Hicks, in San Diego in 1995. Tony was tried as an adult and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Azim, however, felt that the tragedy created victims on both ends of the gun. He reached out to Tony’s grandfather, Ples Felix, and the two men came together in the spirit of healing to end youth violence. In November 2018, with Azim by his side, Tony was granted parole. Once released from prison, Tony will join Azim and TKF to help share their message of forgiveness, peace, and hope.

The Encinitas Rotary Club Peacemaker Award recognizes community members who have made a significant difference in promoting tolerance, understanding, conflict resolution, and peace. “Azim’s powerful message of forgiveness and compassion instills hope for those vulnerable to violence, crime, harm, and poverty,” said Encinitas Rotary Club President Deb Vaughan-Cleff. “He is truly a remarkable individual.” Learn more at www.tkf.org and www.encinitasrotary.com.