"My path, my purpose in life is to heal, grow and change the world."
On October 15, 2017, Brandon Harrison's life was tragically taken by gun violence, at only 20 years old. He was a beloved son, grandson, brother, father, nephew, friend and community leader. Brandon was, and always will be, a rising star with a deep love of learning and passion for social justice. He not only dreamed of creating a safer community and better future for his sons Noah and Adrian, he was actively working to improve conditions for young people of color in his hometown of Stockton and throughout California.
Brandon believed that "self-love heals all wounds" and he fought tirelessly for equity, racial justice, and more opportunities for young people to heal. He was a community organizer and policy advocate who promoted health, healing justice, unity, education, and restorative practices. He was deeply committed to ending the school-to-prison pipeline; his legacy will live on through Be Smooth, Inc. and the statewide movement for youth justice.
Brandon was proud of his growth over the last several years from a youth participant, to a Fellow, to a Youth Movement Builder at Fathers & Families of San Joaquin in Stockton. He was also a student at San Joaquin Delta College. He was a member of the The California Endowment President's Youth Council, National Youth Transition Funders Group - Youth Justice Work Group, and the Statewide #FreeOurDreams Youth Policy Team. He was involved in the California Alliance for Youth & Community Justice, Alliance for Boys & Men of Color, Positive Youth Justice Initiative, Central Valley Movement Building, California Equity Leaders Network, Movement Warriors, Neighborhoods Owning Power Action & Leadership, Sons & Brothers, YO! Cali, and #SchoolsNotPrisons. To honor his life, several awards have recently been created in his name, including the Brandon Harrison Youth Leader/Youth Organizer Award from the UC Davis Equity Summit and the Brandon Harrison Visionary Award from The California Endowment.
His brilliant mind and genuine ability to connect with people of all ages, experiences, and walks of life, will be remembered by everyone he met. When he spoke he moved people, often to both tears and laughter, with his unapologetic honesty, depth of knowledge and wisdom, fierce love, heartfelt connections to systemic injustice, and bold visions for the future he believed in. Above all, Brandon loved deeply and was deeply loved in return, by his family, friends, and countless people whose lives he touched.
We love you, Brandon. Be Smooth.