April 9, 2010
In 2007, SDSVP launched an innovative initiative to further increase our impact. With a focus on the environment, Partners completed a 900 person-hour research and analysis project, the largest in SDSVP history. Then in 2008 we established a new organization, Equinox Center to help ensure a healthy environment, strong economy, and vibrant communities for the people of San Diego.
April 8, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
By Brad Graves
San Diego Social Venture Partners said on March 25 that it made investments in two nonprofit organizations dedicated to education: Reality Changers and Audeo Charter School.
San Diego Social Venture Partners will offer $25,000 per year to the programs over three years. In addition, the group offers nonmonetary support, in the form of expertise and skills, to the organizations they fund. The total value of the support is $600,000 per organization, said Peggy Kidd, the charitable group’s executive director.
Reality Changers is an after-school mentoring program that helps disadvantaged youth in San Diego County become first-generation college students. Audeo Charter School offers an advanced and self-motivating alternative to traditional education for students in grades six through 12.
April 1, 2010
Neither March winds nor pouring rain could prevent a hundred San Diego Social Venture Partners and friends from attending the Spring Party. This year’s quarterly party was held at the spacious home of Partners Ray and Gina Ellis. Delightful fare and lively conversations filled every room and warmed every heart.
At the height of the party, Azim Khamisa, founder of the Tariq Khamisa Foundation (TKF), was invited to address the crowd. Just one year ago, the Partners chose TKF as one of two new Investees for a three-year grant cycle. TKF is now in its fifteenth year making a difference in the lives of millions of children, bringing principles of peace and nonviolence. Through a powerful story of forgiveness, TKF is successfully saving kids from killing kids.
Azim caught everyone’s attention with his opening statement: “Had he lived, on this very day, my boy Tariq would be 36 years old.”
He continued: “I’m honored to celebrate one year of our Foundation’s special relationship with San Diego Social Venture Partners. Let us also honor Tariq on his birthday today. At age 20, my son’s life was taken forever because a 14-year-old shot him with a single bullet in a senseless act of violence.”
“Tariq, like his sister Tasreen, would probably be married and have his own kids by now,” he continued. “He loved children, and they loved him. But that was not his destiny.” There would be another path that opened up, not just for Azim, but also for a world in need of peace and forgiveness.
Azim mentioned how that week everyone’s hearts were broken by the recent, violent death of Chelsea King. This beautiful 17-year-old life was taken from us all in a terrible act of violence. “When one child dies, we are all diminished,” he said.
“Every day in this country, 75 more children die due to violent acts,” he continued. “My son was the victim of a boy who was a victim of our society, and that involves all of us. We are all responsible in one way or another.”
It was a long, painful process, but ultimately Azim chose not to seek revenge over the loss of his son. Instead he chose forgiveness and peace. "I saw Tariq as a victim of the 14-year-old, and I saw the 14-year-old as a victim of society. Both were victims at opposite ends of a gun."
Azim continued: “Who would have thought fifteen years ago that TKF would grow to a staff of more than 50 employees, developing five unique school-based programs that could reach 8 million kids? Who could have thought in this first year of partnership with SDSVP, we would build an even more awesome staff and board of directors, completely transformed in many tangible ways? Azim especially thanked Partners Wendy Gibson, Joyce Ross, Sherri Neasham, Joanne Berg, Mark Fackler and others for their passionate contributions of time and expertise.
Azim said that one of his own hardest choices this year “was learning to free myself from too many roles as Founder, Chairman, CEO, board member, and,” he quipped, “some less prestigious jobs.” He complimented Joyce and others who convinced him to redo the bylaws as the most significant step in helping the Foundation expand and grow. “Thanks to Sherri and your Resource Team, we’ve also mapped out our long-term plans and found new ways to keep TKF at the leading edge. Now we can work even more passionately to meet our mandate of ending the cycle of youth violence.”
Azim concluded, “America is by far the most violent nation in the world. Through comprehensive school programs, our Violence Impact Forums and other good works, together we can save the lives of many young ones who will contribute to making this a better world. I know Tariq would have been a positive agent of change in our world. And so would all the other kids we lose on a daily basis, when everyone in the community is wounded and diminished.
By joining our hearts and hands together, SDSVP and TKF are saving children's lives from death, empowering non-violent choices and embracing the peacemaking path.
How fitting to end the evening with our All-Star Dessert Showcase including cake and special desserts prepared by our Partners, Gina Ellis, AmyK Hutchens, Emmy Sobieski, and Louarn Sorkin.
Thanks to Azim’s inspiring words, there was one more reason to celebrate . . . and get back to those heartfelt conversations.
Happy Birthday, Tariq!
Click on the links to see party pics and video montage.
Emeritus Investee, San Diego Coastkeeper has been working on collaborative advocacy including putting together coalitions to promote ocean-friendly practices.
Coastkeeper has expanded their fundraising to support some new high-quality hires. They recently hired an experienced water-pollution expert to expand their watershed monitoring efforts. In addition, they added a Staff Scientist to provide technical input to their water policy and enforcement efforts. They also were able to hire the marketing/communications expert who spearheaded development of the marketing plan on a pro bono basis…this was the last piece of SDSVP’s 3-year plan.
Coastkeeper now has a staff of 15 which is up from the staff of 7 at the end of 2004 right before the SDSVP engagement began. Well done, Coastkeeper!