Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Rest in Peace: Andrew "DJ Domino" Ele (1984-2006)

It hit me like a sucker punch to the gut tonite--an email from my friend A. stating that 22-year-old Dru 'DJ Domino' Ele had been shot and killed on 24th and Folsom Sts. last night in Frisco.

Too young to die, I can't stop thinking, too young.

I got to know Dru a little when he was working at YouthSpace and I was on the board, both of us working with other youth and adult allies to try and get a youth-run space opened in San Francisco, a place where young people could come from all over the city and put their beefs aside, have fun, pick up some new skills. Dru must have been about 20 back then. He had started up his DJ career, spending late nights gigging at 18-and-over clubs and youth dances. He always had some funny story or joke to share, and always made me smile and feel welcome.

After YouthSpace folded because of lack of funding, I would see Dru occasionally at events, festivals, parties, like community gatherings at Coleman Advocates, where he had worked with Youth Making a Change. Actually, the first time I met Dru was when I was Executive Director of the Youth Empowerment Center and he was there speaking on a panel about youth organizing as part of a national youth organizers' exchange.

H. and I just saw him a few weeks ago at Carnaval in the Mission. He was handing out flyers for a party that he was DJing, of course, the quintessential young entrepreneur.

I can't believe someone so young is already an ancestor. And I abhor the social and economic conditions that make too-early deaths like Dru's all too common in today's urban environments. But I know that Dru would want us all to keep on movin' forward, fighting the good fight until there ain't no fight left in us no more.

Rest in peace and power, brother Dru. We will miss you.

Donations to help Dru's family during this time are encouraged and can be sent to:
Dru Ele Memorial Fund
Mission Area Federal Credit Union
2940 16th St. - Suite 307
San Francisco, CA 94103
account #: 7192

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