We would like to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to LA Mayor Karen Bass and her remarkable team for their outstanding efforts in bringing awareness to Red Ribbon Week 2023.
In a show of support for Red Ribbon, the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention awareness program, LA’s City Hall was illuminated in red. This served as a powerful reminder of the importance of drug prevention and the collective effort required to combat substance abuse.
Through this collaborative effort, with assistance from Mentor Foundation USA, the DEA, and the DEA Operation Engage team in Los Angeles, we have not only raised awareness about Red Ribbon Week but also emphasized the importance of community engagement in addressing the challenges posed by drug abuse.
Once again, we express our deepest gratitude to LA Mayor Karen Bass and her exceptional team for their support. Their dedication serves as an inspiration to us all and reinforces the importance of collective action in creating a safer and healthier future for our communities.
About Red Ribbon Week
Since its beginning in 1985, the Red Ribbon has touched the lives of millions of people around the world. 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.
Today, the Red Ribbon serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities. Since that time, the campaign has reached millions of U.S. children and families. The National Family Partnership (NFP) and its network of individuals and organizations continue to deliver his message of hope to millions of people every year, through the National Red Ribbon Campaign™. Read more about Red Ribbon Week.