Jesse Tahim spent most of his short, adult life helping other people.
He worked for the Boys and Girls Clubs, Meals on Wheels and Hands for Africa, a non-profit that works with amputees.
But he wanted to do more.
On the side, he wrote hip-hop music and lyrics.
A week before his sudden death in 2014, he told his sister Pamela that he wanted to create a movement to make popular, mainstream hip-hop music more socially conscious.
"It was really my last conversation I had with my brother," Tahim's sister, Pamela, told VOA.
Pamela Tahim is a lawyer and, before her brother’s death, she had nothing to do with music. But she decided to make her brother's wish come true.
He already had written lyrics about a call to activism with hip-hop music.
"We basically found all of that after he had passed away, but he told me all about it,” Pamela said. “And I shared this information with different people and the people were inspired. They heard his song.
“I had a music producer remake this song. Some human rights activists put a video to it. And a conversation just developed with a number of people that we need to start a non-profit organization that furthers this mission and purpose."
Compassion into action
In 2014, Kind-Hearted Compassion in Action Foundation was born.
Kind-Hearted Compassion in Action Foundation gave a grant to inLeague Press, whose members include Steven Sweetleaf, O'ryan Moore and AJ Redkey.
The organization offers a platform to musicians, artists and activists who come from adverse circumstances, allowing them to share their work and create positive social change. The foundation provides mentors and grants.
One of those grant recipients is inLeague Press, which describes itself as “people protecting people, with cameras.”
"inLeague Press, these are human right activists," Tahim explained. "They basically created a forum through their organization to help mentally ill individuals in particular, and homeless individuals who have been targeted through police brutality."
AJ Redkey is an inLeague Press member.
"We try to stay on top of social change, economic change," he said. "Pamela's [Kind-Hearted Compassion in Action Foundation] gave us the money to get our system upgraded, our computers. Now we can make all our videos, cover those stories throughout California, country and the world."
Artist of the Year
Kind-Hearted Compassion in Action Foundation picked musician Fatell as the recipient of the foundation's Socially Conscious Artist of 2015 award.
"Fatell, he's an amazing musician in the hip-hop industry," Tahim said. "He's all positive work. He doesn't have access to resources, so we're supporting him."
Musician Fatell was named the Socially Conscious Artist of 2015 by Kind-Hearted Compassion in Action Foundation.
Fatell said his hope is to get his positive music into mainstream hip-hop.
"There is a lot of negative music out that's really influencing our culture, and it's making kids really grow up too fast," he said. "It is making them turn into people that they shouldn't ever be thinking about being. I have a daughter, I'm a young father and I don't want to be an addition to that negative pollution out there the artists put down in the mainstream."
But making music as an independent artist is challenging, Fatell said, not to mention expensive.
"You have to pay for studio time," he explained. "You have to pay for mixing, for mastering, for outfit, for performances, interviews. It's a lot of things. Usually a major label would assist with those things, but since I'm not with a major label right now, a lot of it is self-funded, it's one of the things the Kind-Hearted Compassion is helping me out."
Dream lives on
And the foundation's co-founder, Pamela, said this is just the beginning.
"In the course of this year, we're planning on having several educational seminars," she said. "We're partnering with Chapman University to do that. We already have a partnership with them and we're giving scholarships to students at the university who basically are in line with this mission. [We're] planning on having collaborations of artists and musicians just to network with each other and creating these symposiums where this can take place."
Pamela said she now has a dream of her own: for Kind-Hearted Compassion in Action Foundation to expand and support artists throughout the United States and worldwide.