In Loving Memory of Omari
Omari “Mars” Sadhan was a bright light the moment he walked in to East Yard during his last year at Cabrillo High School. He was brought in by a member who thought it’d be a cool space for him to check out and grow. They couldn’t have been more right.
He was introduced to me at the end of a Long Beach monthly meeting; he shook my hand and as I stared up at him I thought: “He seems very serious.” I was a little intimidated by high school students then since I had just started working with them; but, I learned pretty quickly that Omari was the opposite of that. From then on, I started seeing him every week at Youth in Action! lunch meetings at Cabrillo.
I quickly learned that he was a musician and that being his passion, he wanted to pursue it in college. I got to listen to him play his flute, once, during our annual trip with the youth up to Mono Lake. That is where we also all freaked out because for a moment we thought he had lost his flute. Mono Lake also being the place where he made his dream come true of seeing a sky full of stars since we know that in our communities it’s impossible to see that. His love for music was out of this world and even though at one point he felt that he no longer wanted to pursue it, it was okay because we both knew that even if he took a break his love for it would always be there.
But, he was not just a musician. He was also a warrior in the battles within our communities. He believed a better environment for our communities was possible and showed it through his passion and love for our communities, in East Yard. It was very rare to not see Omari at an East Yard event just as it was rare to not see him at Youth in Action! meetings. Omari was one of the first members to push for clean ups in our communities. Because despite us already fighting for many elements in our hoods, these clean ups were also essential. He was always excited and looked forward to the clean ups and it was uplifting to see how he’d always do it with a smile on his face. Fighting for our communities health was something he was passionate about and knew he’d create a change in this world for himself and generations to come.
Omari was a loving and caring soul that would give a smile to anyone who crossed his path. The memory of him and his love for his passions lives through those that were around him. Omari’s mom has asked that donations be made to East Yard in honor of his memory and love he had for the organization and its members.
He will be missed each and every day.
Written by Karla Perez, Youth Organizer