Contributed by Jazz Duncan
As the hot, summer days pass us by much too quickly, a very special annual occasion is approaching – the National Red Ribbon Week. Students have been celebrating Red Ribbon Week in school for probably as long as they can remember. But It is disheartening for members of the Youth Action Team to find that a few too many students just don their ribbons to please the teachers and doze through the “lectures” about drug use.
The Youth Action Team wants to emphasize why this week is so important and why it should be important to everyone in our community. They are a group of youth leaders working in tandem with the Drug Free Community Coalition and focus on educating the community about the importance of staying drug and alcohol free and minimizing the risk of substance abuse.
The mission, history and achievements of the Red Ribbon Campaign have been integral in establishing and fueling their own pursuits. Started in 1985 in response to the murder of Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Enrique Camarena by drug traffickers in Mexico City, the red ribbon has been used as a symbol of intolerance towards the use of drugs and as a symbol of commitment to the movement to raise awareness of the destruction brought about by substance abuse in America.
Its humble beginnings began as a handful of concerned parents banded together in a nonprofit organization while hoping to play a leadership role in drug prevention. The National Family Partnership has sponsored the annual National Red Ribbon Campaign in an attempt to not only educate communities, but to mobilize them by also encouraging participation in drug free and drug prevention activities.
All members of the community are encouraged to come together from October 23rd through 31st and use their strength in unity to continue the long and arduous process of fighting substance use and abuse. While this week is highlighted nationwide, it is important to note that this is not the only time that we can or should make an unrelenting and unified effort to raise awareness, educate one another and make a difference.