DEA encourages communities nationwide to Go Red for Red Ribbon
WASHINGTON – DEA kicked off its 2020 National Red Ribbon Campaign earlier this month with its first-ever virtual National Red Ribbon Rally. This year’s theme is “Be Happy, Be Brave, Be Drug Free” and the rally’s guest speaker was Miss America 2020 Camille Schrier. A Doctor of Pharmacy student at Virginia Commonwealth University, Camille spoke of each person's unique talents that make them special, recognizing those differences in ourselves, and not letting them hold us back in pursuing our dreams. Additional highlights of this year’s groundbreaking rally include a campus video Public Service Announcement (PSA) contest for colleges and universities, and the Red Ribbon photo contest co-sponsored by the DEA and the National Family Partnership. Next week, as the initiative continues, the United States Postal Service will unveil a “Drug Free USA” Forever Stamp. DEA and USPS will livestream the event.
DEA is encouraging communities nationwide to Go Red for Red Ribbon – an effort to continue the momentum and promote awareness of the need to prevent drug use. Go Red for Red Ribbon brings awareness to living a drug-free life by lighting up buildings, landmarks, businesses, and bridges in red during Red Ribbon Week, October 23-31. Participants can post Go Red for Red Ribbon photos on social media using the hashtags #DEARedRibbon and #GoRed4RedRibbon. Communities are also invited to expand upon Go Red for Red Ribbon by lighting up offices, libraries, landmarks, and other locations in red using red bulbs, red gel filters, or red balloons and decorations.
"By actively engaging our neighbors--children and adults alike--we employ a powerful group to battle drug use and raise awareness," said Acting Administrator Timothy J. Shea. "Red Ribbon Week is not only a critical component of DEA's community outreach, it is also our opportunity to remind everyone of the sacrifices made by Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena and all of our agents as they work to keep our communities safe from the scourge of drugs and violent drug traffickers."
Red Ribbon Week, celebrated annually during the last week of October, highlights the importance of living a drug-free life. It presents an opportunity for parents, educators, and communities to reinforce the drug-free messages they share with their children throughout the year. During Red Ribbon Week, youth and adults around the nation pledge to increase their knowledge by learning more about the destructive effects of drug use, including prescription drug misuse, and renew their commitment to live a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.
The National Red Ribbon Campaign is the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention awareness program. Red Ribbon Week started after the death of DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who in 1985 was brutally tortured and murdered by drug traffickers he was investigating in Mexico. After Special Agent Camarena’s death, people from his hometown started wearing red ribbons to honor his sacrifice. Today, decades after his death, millions of people celebrate Red Ribbon Week by wearing red ribbons, participating in community anti-drug events, and pledging to live drug-free lives.
In recognition of Red Ribbon Week last year, DEA partnered with Google to develop an interactive way to explore the life of Special Agent Camarena through the lens of Google Earth. Visit http://g.co/redribbonweek to see key places and images where Special Agent Camarena lived and worked.
For more ideas and information on Red Ribbon, visit www.dea.gov/redribbon.