Since 2011, we have been at the forefront of efforts to advocate for safe, common-sense gun legislation, curb the school-to-prison pipeline, and save young people's lives.
The CHARLES Foundation was created in memory of Charles Andre' Johnson, born September 20th, 1992. On January 12, 2011 at 10:40pm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania two young men walked up to the car that Charles was sitting in while waiting for his sister and opened fire. At 12:55am on January 13th, 2011 Charles Andre' Johnson, 18 years old, died of fatal gunshot wounds at Einstein Hospital. The Philadelphia police found that Charles was killed in a case of mistaken identity by two young men aged 23 and 25 years old, who had previous criminal arrest records. Prior to his death, Charles worked full time in the family business, caring for over 100 chronically mentally ill adults. Twenty-six days after his death, Charles' first and only child Khalif was born. Our work aims to keep parents from having to bury their children, and children from having to visit their parents in cemeteries.
The Charles Foundation (Creating Healthy Alternatives Results in Less Emotional Suffering) was created and implemented by Charles' parents, brother, and two sisters. It was created to provide advocacy and assist children with skills, self-esteem building and conflict resolution in an attempt to reduce violence and murder in our communities. We are working with a variety of grassroots and community organizations to reduce community violence. It is our hope and prayer that this foundation will be the basis of recovery and redemption for many so that they do not end up dead or in prison.
What We've Achieved
- We opened a Community Resource Center where we host Survivor Empowerment Groups, educational forums, and a community food cupboard.
- With the assistance of MECA Inc., we assisted over 200 young adults with obtaining employment in the health care industry since January 2012.
- In 2015 we organized a national homocide survivors march on the mall in Washington, D.C. where over 5,000 people participated
- With our partners, we partake in community calls for action, public witnessing, and work with legislators to reduce gun violence.
- We go into Graterford Prison to teach an Impact of Crime class, and work with the Lifers Program to reduce prison recidivism.
- The Foundation was the Moral Voice of the Community for the Focused Deterrence Strategy (created by criminologist David Kennedy) 2013 through 2015. In the first year of the pilot program the homocide rate was reduced by over 50%.
- We created and host the "Be The Change" summer internship program where "high-risk" young people participate in a 12-week program to obtain education and tangible skills for problem solving and conflict resolution. We also provide mentors to participants.
- We assist and support Lost Dreams on Canvas, a program that memorializes innocent victims of violence and utilizes the portraits as a traveling anti-violence campaign.
- We continue to colalborate with people with all religious, racial and ethnic/national backgrounds to help save our children.
- Annually, we support schools with anti-violence campaigns, school supplies, and other campaigns to best empower the students.
- Our members continue to meet with and assist members in the community that lost love ones to gun violence. This support includes post-trauma emotional support, resource allocation, and financial assistance with burials.
All of our services are free & supported by donations made by caring individuals like you.