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 (d. December 28, 2006) and filmmaker Helen Hill (d. 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.



Executive Director: Tamara JacksonTamara 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 possesses a Bachelor's Degree in Health Care Administration from the University of Phoenix, as well as a Master’s in Business Administration. Tamara received her national certification as a Comprehensive Victim Intervention Specialist in 2014. She is a certified law enforcement elder abuse instructor and a member of the Sexual Assault Response Team in New Orleans. She has conducted victim assistance and cultural diversity trainings for law enforcement officers. She has facilitated seminars and workshops on victim services, domestic violence, and cultural diversity at various organizations throughout New Orleans. Tamara worked for the State of Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Office of Mental Health for 17 years as a Medical Specialist. She is currently a social work graduate student at 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.

Counselor: Elizabeth Beu joined Silence Is Violence team as a contract Arts Based Therapist in 2013. Elizabeth Beu, M.S., ATR, LPC is a registered art therapist and licensed professional counselor. She received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from Loyola University New Orleans and a Master’s of Science in Art Therapy from Florida State University. She has experience providing art therapy and counseling services in community, school and office settings with individuals with emotional, mental, developmental, and behavioral disorders.

She specializes in work with children, adolescents and families with a focus on self expression, emotional and self awareness, coping skills, adjustment to life changes, crisis prevention and intervention, awareness of strengths, anxiety, trauma, calming techniques, depression, and communication skills.

Youth Outreach Coordinator: Maureen Loughran joined the team of Silence Is Violence serving on our advisory board and volunteering with our peace clinics in 2013. She has now transition to a direct care staffing role as youth program coordinator. Maureen Loughran is an ethnomusicologist and educator.  Her experience includes directing an independent piano studio, as well as teaching both at the high school and university levels.  She is also a radio producer for the public radio program American Routes. She received her PhD in ethnomusicology from Brown University. As youth programs coordinator, Maureen manages all Peace Clinics and youth engagement for SilenceisViolence.

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

Art Therapist: Emily Schumacher is a registered Art Therapist and CI with the state of Louisiana. Emily received her masters degree in Art Therapy from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. Emily has a wide variety of experience in providing art therapy and counseling services to individuals in need including individual art therapy and counseling with children, adults, and families who were experiencing emotional and/or behavioral issues. Emily also have experience in running therapy groups for adults suffering from chronic and persistent mental illness as well as individuals diagnosed with intellectual disabilities. She believes in the healing power of creative expression and combines art making with clinical psychological theories and interventions. She utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused therapy, a person centered approach, skills training, grief and trauma focused therapy, and art therapy interventions in order to reach each client’s unique goals.

Board of Directors:

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.

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.

Denis Aidoo, BS, Mechanical Engineering, Systems Engineer at the Naval Oceanographic Office, Volunteer Club team Basketball coach for the Kenner Angels AAU Basketball Program

Deborah Reeder, MBA , CFO/COO, Louisiana Cancer Research Center, Former SIV Advisory Council Member, Former SIV/VAP Client, Vice President of Finance & Chief Operating Officer CFO/COO

Jeff Bennett is a Senior Manager in the Risk & Resilience practice at Deloitte. He graduated from LSU with a double major in Accounting and Information Systems & Decision Sciences. He was formerly a volunteer football and basketball coach for Bunny Friend Playground in the Upper 9th Ward. He currently serves as Treasurer on the SIV Board.

Advisory Council:

Paige Royer, activist
Steve Watson, entrepreneur
Jenny Dickherber, social worker
Constance Parker, clinician