Could You Forgive The Teen Who Shot Your Son?

One dad did. Now he’s teaching middle schoolers about compassion in an effort to stop youth violence.

On the night Azim Khamisa learned that his son Tariq had been murdered, he had what he calls an out-of-body experience — a moment that led him to an almost spiritual partnership and a practically otherworldly example of forgiveness.

Tariq Khamisa was murdered 22 years ago in 1995. He was making a pizza delivery to an apartment in San Diego, when he arrived and was confronted by four teenage boys intending to rob him. One of the teens was 14-year-old Tony Edward Hicks. According to Hicks’ grandfather, an 18-year-old that Hicks had been hanging out with at the time handed the teen a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun and directed him to shoot Tariq if he refused to give up his cash or the pizza.

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Move Over, Wonder Woman — This Afro-Puerto Rican Superhero Is The Ultimate Feminist Icon

“She is my hero and represents the power we have as a people.”

Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, a self-described artsy nerd from the South Bronx, never imagined that the Afro-Puerto Rican pacifist character he first self-published only a little more than a year ago would emerge as one of the comic book world’s most realistic feminist super-heroes. La Borinqueña officially debuted at New York City’s Puerto Rican Day Parade in June 2016. Since then, both the character and the comic book have become something bigger and more meaningful than their creator could have dreamed, especially as Puerto Rico weathers two onslaughts from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, school closings, and an economic crisis.

“The mainstream publishing and comic book industry, after decades, is finally recognizing the power of people of color. An audience that they [producers and studios] think doesn’t go to movies, but then ‘Wonder Woman’ kills it in the box office, they’re like, ‘Oh, shit, we better get more women superheroes,”’ Miranda-Rodriguez says. Now 47, he says he’s been reading comic books since he was 7 years old.

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California Just Showed Us That Hiring Transgender Employees Is Good For The Bottom Line

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice tries to dismantle LGBTQ protections in the workplace.

When Jessye Zambrano was 18, she was a star employee at a large fast-food chain — she prefers not to name which one — and was even named “Outstanding Manager” three years in a row. Then she began her gender transition; not long after, she says she was demoted from her position as general manager.

Now 28, Zambrano stayed at that job for 13 years, even though she experienced a great deal of workplace discrimination and a violent altercation with a customer. Partially, she felt she had to stay because she’s the sole provider for her parents, who still live in Mexico. Born in Mexico City, Zambrano came to the U.S. as a teenager; at the time, she was undocumented. But in spring 2016, Zambrano met Michaela Mendelsohn, and things started to look up.

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What It’s Like Being A Latino Muslim In America

“We are optimistic, and this is an opportunity to let people know who we are.”

The "Taco Truck at Every Mosque" event at Islamic Center of Santa Ana. Photo courtesy LALMA.

Though it's been more than a decade since César Dominguez visited Egypt, recalling the moment he visited a local mosque still overwhelms him with emotion. When he took a moment there to kneel down in prayer, he says he experienced a level of peacefulness he'd never felt before.

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