From Pain and Loss Came a Gift of Love

Posted: August 3, 2020

In KWP, Khadafy’s Inspiration Lives On –

This August 4 marks the 20th anniversary of the death of Khadafy Washington, in whose memory our program to help families of homicide victims, the Khadafy Washington Project, is named. Khadafy was shot and killed on the campus of McClymond’s High School in West Oakland, just a few short weeks after he had graduated. It was a devastating loss. But Khadafy’s memory lives on in the great kindness he inspired. In the months and then the years after Khadafy’s death, his mom, Marilyn Washington Harris, dedicated her life to serving families who found themselves in the same situation she was in on that awful August day in 2000: alone, confused, shocked, frightened, with no idea where to turn and no one to help her. Marilyn would never let that happen to another grieving mother or family in Oakland. She created the Khadafy Washignton Foundation for Non-Violence and, at Youth ALIVE!, founded the Khadafy Washignton Project, our program that meets families in the immediate aftermath of a homicide to help them through their darkness and pain, to help them obtain victim compensation, plan funerals, and take care of themselves and their loved ones. Twenty years later, Marilyn is still tirelessly there for grieving families in Oakland, embracing them, giving them hope.