Silence Is Violence

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What is SilenceIsViolence

SilenceIsViolence is a campaign for peace in New Orleans, founded following the murders of musician Dinerral Shavers (December 28, 2006) and filmmaker Helen Hill (January 4, 2007). Dinerral and Helen were beloved friends, neighbors, and artists of New Orleans’ Bywater-Marigny district.

Following these tragedies, Ken Foster, Helen Gillet, and Baty Landis organized a march to New Orleans City Hall to express dismay at the silence of city leadership on the issue of violent crime.

The January 11, 2007 March For Survival was attended by 5,000 concerned citizens. On that day, citizens from all parts of the city spoke directly to our leaders and each other about their fears and hopes for a safer and more equitable city—and SilenceIsViolence was founded.

The mission of the Silence is Violence is to call upon both citizens and public officials to achieve a safe New Orleans across all communities. We engage youth in positive expressions and actions to counter the culture of violence. We demand respect for every life, and justice for every citizen in our city.

Who We Are

Executive Director: Tamara Jackson is a powerful force in the cultural and social justice spheres of New Orleans. As volunteer President of the Social Aid and Pleasure Club Task Force, Tamara has achieved reforms on behalf of all local parading social aid and pleasure clubs. As a victim-survivor of violence herself, Tamara joined SilenceIsViolence in 2009 as a volunteer consultant pertaining to victim services. She took over management of the SilenceIsViolence Victim Allies Project in 2010, and accepted responsibility over all SilenceIsViolence programs when the Board of Directors appointed her Executive Director in 2011.

Tamara graduated from L.E. Rabouin Vocational High School, received an Associate's Degree in General Studies from Delgado Community College, and possesses a Bachelor's Degree in Health Care Administration from the University of Phoenix, as well as a Master’s in Business Administration. Tamara worked for the State of Louisiana at the New Orleans Adolescent Hospital for 15 years as a Medical Specialist. She is currently pursuing an additional Master's Degree in Social Work through the University of Southern California.

Victim Outreach Coordinator: LaRaunda Hartford has a Master's Degree in Social Work from Southern University. She is the first point of contact for victims and victim-survivors of homicide in need of SilenceIsViolence Victim Allies Project services. LaRaunda coordinates and provides grief support services for the organization.

Youth Outreach Coordinator: Susan Sakash has a long background in working with social justice organizations, notably Raw Arts (Boston) and 220 Youth Studios (Providence). She holds a BA in Liberal Studies from Wesleyan University. As Youth Programs Coordinator, Susan manages all Peace Clinics and youth engagement programming for SilenceIsViolence.

Administrative Assistant: Courtney Meads, a student at Delgado Community College, is responsible for all organizational and clerical needs of SilenceIsViolence.


Baty Landis is the Consulting Director of Young Aspirations/Young Artists (YAYA) and the founder of SilenceIsViolence. Baty possesses degrees from the University of California at Berkeley (BA) and Princeton University (MA, Ph.D.) in Music, Fine Arts, and Historical Musicology.

Lana Hall-Jenkins is an Accounting Specialist with 15 years experience in the Business Office at LSU Health Sciences Center.

Lucas Morehouse is an attorney with experience in criminal law in the New Orleans area. Lucas is a New Orleans native, graduated from Ben Franklin High School, and earned his law degree at LSU.

Paige Valente managed SilenceIsViolence youth programs from 2011 to 2013. Paige is a graphic artist and poet, and continues to teach in some of our Peace Clinics. She works as a designer for Alexa Pulitzer Designs.


Paige Royer, activist
Maureen Loughran, music and development
Steve Watson, entrepreneur
Deborah Reeder, victim-survivor
Jenny Dickherber, social worker
Constance Parker, clinician