While binge watching American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson today, I was so mezmerized with John Travolta’s characterization of Robert Shapiro, I wanted to find out more about the attorney in real life, and after googling for more info found an interesting factoid that fits in with TDA here.
Most people over 40 know Shapiro was the lead attorney on O.J. Simpson’s defense team, the so called Dream Team in 1995’s trail of the century. Less well known, one of Shapiro’s sons, Brent, was found dead from an MDMA overdose on October 11, 2005. The death of Brent Shapiro sparked the founding of “The Brent Shapiro Foundation,” a non-profit organization with an aim to raise drug awareness, for which he serves as chairman of the board, as well as Pickford Lofts, a rehabilitation facility.
Founded upon personal tragedy, it is our vision to conquer alcohol and drug dependence by turning the fear, grief and helplessness caused from this disease into awareness, compassion, and support. It is the mission of the Brent Shapiro Foundation for Alcohol and Drug Awareness to become the national leader in the fight against drug and alcohol dependence by:
•Raising awareness through education
•Removing the stigma and isolation associated with this disease by inviting everyone to join in a national dialogue
•Providing support to parents on how to communicate with their children and with other parents about alcohol and drugs
•Creating educational tools designed to help parents, teachers and communities to identify when necessary, to intervene with those as high-risk
It is our belief that the solution lies in a new, different and fresh approach. We intend to use a simple model of educating parents, teachers, children and communities about this disease.
We believe that increasing awareness is the first step to change – change in the way this disease is viewed; change in the way it is identified and prevented; and change in the way people who have this disease are viewed by society.
Please visit the Shapiro family’s site and support if you can http://brentshapiro.org/
Shapiro has also created SOMO the Sober Monkey, a character in the children’s book “Somo Says NO” that has an anti-drug theme. The book is made available to schools free of charge.