- Keynote Speakers
Azim Khamisa was born in Kenya, Africa and had early training in mathematics, economics and international finance. A successful international investment banker with over 35 years experience, he has conducted business in Africa, Middle East, Europe and Asia. A man always on the go, taking action for societal transformation, he is presently the Chairman, CEO and Founder of the Tariq Khamisa Foundation (TKF), President of the Child Safety Network (CSN) and Founder and National Director of the Constant And Never Ending Improvement (CANEI) program.
Azim's discussion of his personal journey toward healing after his son Tariq was killed can be heard at about 11:30 minutes into recording of the June 2, 2015 Keynote/Plenary Panel session.
Committing his life to halting the continuing cycle of violence among the youth, Azim became a social activist after his 20-year-old son Tariq was senselessly murdered while delivering pizzas in January 1995 by Tony Hicks, a 14-year-old gang member. Out of unspeakable grief and despair, Khamisa 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 (TKF) to break the cycle of youth violence by saving lives, teaching peace and planting seeds of hope in their future. A month after establishing the foundation, Azim invited Ples Felix, Tony's grandfather and guardian, to join him. Together, since November 1995, the two have brought their story and message through TKF's Violence Impact Forums. The duo has reached a half a million elementary and middle school children live and over 20 million via video programs, guiding the youth to choose a peacemaker's life of non-violence and forgiveness.
A resident of La Jolla, California, Azim is also the proud father of Tasreen and the proud grandfather of Khalil, Shahin and Miya.