Skip to main content

Rams News | Los Angeles Rams -

playmakers_2023-AMAAD16x9 (1)

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Dr. Carl Highshaw originally founded the Arming Minorities Against Addiction and Disease (AMAAD) Institute in South Los Angeles as a recovery organization. 

Today, AMAAD programs and services include that, and much more for supporting Black and Brown communities. 

Executive Director Gerald Garth's role in helping facilitate that access is why he was recently recognized as the Rams' 13th pLAymaker honoree of 2023. 

"I am thrilled to be recognized by the LA Rams, not just a great football team, but an amazing organization committed to making an impact," Garth said via e-mail. "So many individuals and organizations are doing great work tirelessly and often unnoticed, so I count it a privilege and an honor to be recognized, not only to be highlighted individually, but as a part of a dynamic team and village doing the work every day. The Los Angeles Rams are iconic around the world, so to be recognized by the organization is extraordinary!"

According to Garth, AMAAD's mission is to "facilitate personalized individual access to programs and services that foster safe and supportive healthy environments for people to live, learn, and develop to their fullest potential." 

Beyond recovery support, the institute also provides behavioral health services, youth and young adult programs, and many other community education, engagement, linkage, and navigation programs and services to the aforementioned communities. More details about those programs can be seen on their website here.

"As Executive Director of AMAAD, I look forward to continuing this great work with expanded programs and services with a real commitment to sustain, replicate, scale, and grow," Garth said. "AMAAD has become a pillar in and through Los Angeles. We will be celebrating our 10th anniversary next year, and I'm excited to take the great work of AMAAD even further—in every sense of the word."

When defining inspiring change, Garth draws on following a path of authenticity and having examples to look toward. 

"Inspiring change really is about tapping into one's own sense of authenticity and purpose," Garth said. "How one gets there is being able to connect to their core sense of self and lean into the inspiration that drives you. I cite numerous sources of inspiration. I stand on the shoulders of so many great individuals and come from a great heritage of servant leaders, so count it an honor to continue the legacy. As a man of faith, I recognize the assignment that it is to be of service and leaning on something greater than and bigger than oneself to be of impact, no matter how great or small, is inspiring change." 

Along the same lines, Garth said being active plays a pivotal role in the way others can inspire change in their own communities. 

"Everybody has an opportunity and, I'd dare say, responsibility to inspire change in their own communities," Garth said. "We inspire change by getting active. Find your special and specific ways to be of service, support, and an agent of change. My role in community organizing and community healing looks like the work I do with AMAAD and beyond, but we all have a role-- be it through volunteering, donating, serving, or supporting. There is so much need in the world today, and the world needs what you have. Find it and go it without apology. As I continue in the work, I am reminded that none of us have to do everything, if all of us do something."

back to top

Related Content