What is Red Ribbon Week? It is the nation's largest and longest- running drug use prevention campaign. It began after the kidnapping, torture, and murder of DEA agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, and his pilot in 1985.
After the men were found murdered, citizens in the town of Calexico, California donned red ribbons in his honor. The red ribbon became a symbol to reduce the demand for illegal drugs. California Congressman Duncan Hunter along with teacher David Dhillon launched "Camarena Clubs" in California high schools. In 1986, club members presented a proclamation to Nancy Reagan, First Lady of the United States, who had initiated nationwide anti-drug programs. The following year, parent-teacher organizations in California, Illinois, and Virginia wore the red ribbons in late October and November. In 1988, the first National Red Ribbon Week was organized.
This year Red Ribbon Week runs from October 23-31 with the theme Be Happy, Be Brave, Be Drug Free. Tricia Nelson of Locust Corner Elementary School in Cincinnati was the creator of this year’s theme.
According to the Redribbon.org website:
Tricia's theme was chosen from hundreds of submissions through our National Red Ribbon Theme Contest which runs from January 1 through December 2. Her winning theme will help amplify the campaign's mission, which is to encourage children, families and communities to live healthy, happy and drug-free lives. It also serves as a reminder that we are all empowered with shaping the communities around us through positivity, bravery and strength. We hope the theme encourages everyone to express themselves and their feelings no matter what.
For more information and ways you can participate in Red Ribbon Week we suggest you check out Be The Change 406