What is Red Ribbon Week?
Many of you may be asking, what is this Red Ribbon, people are talking about. Well put simply it is a week dedicated to the cause of drug use prevention, especially in our youth. Where did someone even come up with this idea you may wonder.
Well… it began in 1985, in response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena, angered parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction cause by drugs in America.
Enrique (Kiki) Camarena was a Drug Enforcement Administration Agent who was tortured and killed in Mexico in 1985. When he decided to join the US Drug Enforcement Administration, his mother tried to talk him out of it. “I’m only one person”, he told her, “but I want to make a difference.”
On Feb. 7, 1985, the 37-year-old Camarena left his office to meet his wife for lunch. Five men appeared at the agent’s side and shoved him in a car. One month later, Camarena’s body was found. He had been tortured to death.
In honor of Camarena’s memory and his battle against illegal drugs, friends and neighbors began to wear red badges of satin. Parents, sick of the destruction of alcohol and other drugs, had begun forming coalitions. Some of these new coalitions took Camarena as their model and embraced his belief that one person can make a difference. These coalitions also adopted the symbol of Camarena’s memory, the red ribbon.(credit:Red Ribbon Web site http://redribbon.org/about )
We all hope to make the difference, the good news is if one person can start an entire movement, imagine the power we have when we work together!
In honor of Red Ribbon Week, The Outreach Team – youth-led drug prevention educators, are working with local middle schools to promote a door decorating contest!
Check out The Outreach Team’s progress and updates on Facebook page HERE.