I write this letter with gratitude, love and hope. Many identify “Shakur” as being revolutionary and entertaining. We are perceived as headstrong, daring, politically driven and radical. My brother Tupac and I were groomed into being advocates for our community. My mother, Afeni Shakur, was a paralegal who worked for political prisoners and fought for their rights. My father, Mutulu Shakur, founded a local clinic that specialized in addiction recovery and support. Our family has always helped and inspired others to ignite gifts and talents hidden within. I have always been surrounded by love, kindness, and reverence for my community and I want to continue our collective healing through the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation (TASF).
TASF, originally known as the ‘Shakur Family Foundation’, was founded in 1997 by my mother, Afeni. Not only was this organization Tupac’s dream, but it was ours. We were committed to bringing this to fruition as apart of our legacy and desire to uplift our people. TASF set forth to offer children from low-income families, an opportunity to express themselves through the arts and to provide a “safe space” to feel nurtured and encouraged. My mother introduced us to the arts at a noticeably young age which allowed Tupac and I to dissect the world around us with the intentions of creating one much more desirable. That is the vision of the Shakur family- Mutulu, Afeni, Tupac, myself and my children.
“The greatness of the community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” -Coretta Scott King
As President, my role and commitment is to be of service through our five branches: Mental Health Awareness, Youth and Creative Arts, Support for families affected by incarceration, Women and Child Trafficking Prevention, and Peace and Conflict Resolution. Community gives us power; it reminds us of who we are when we feel lost, rebuilds our strength and provides endurance. Our community allows us to stand, heads held high, against any opposition. We are stronger together, than by ourselves.
Moving forward, our foundation’s primary mission is to identify and eradicate the effects of trauma. By understanding the sources of mental illness we can seek to prevent it and be better educated on how to treat those affected. The passion of the foundation, along with my family’s legacy, is rooted in community healing, pinpointing trauma and navigating social justice.
Given our current state of affairs, I am looking to my family, friends, strangers and those who know me in passing to create peace beyond our present day. We must do more than we have, love harder than we know possible, and act on all that is right. If everything else fails, our unity is what will stand the test of time. The legacy of the Shakur Family is what began this journey, but it is our LOVE that guides and keeps our name everlasting.
PEACE, LOVE, AND RESPECT.
Sekyiwa “Set” Shakur
The Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation