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 SilenceIsViolence is to work toward a safe and equitable New Orleans. We provide direct victim services, creative youth engagement, and public advocacy, working with clients and partners from every sector to achieve safe, just, and thriving communities



Executive Director: Tamara Jackson
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. 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 holds a Bachelor's Degree in Health Care Administration from the University of Phoenix, as well as a Master’s in Business Administration, and a Master's of Social Work from the University of Southern California. 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 the New Orleans Police Department and has facilitated seminars and workshops on victim services, domestic violence, and cultural diversity at numerous organizations throughout New Orleans and nationally. Tamara worked for the State of Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Office of Mental Health for 17 years as a Medical Specialist.

Senior Case Manager: LaRaunda Hartford
LaRaunda Hartford holds 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 individual case plans and grief support programs for the organization.

Case Manager, Operations: Courtney Meads
Courtney Meads is a student at Delgado Community College and has worked at SilenceIsViolence since 2012 in a variety of capacities. Today she serves as a case manager, managing client intakes as well as ongoing services. She is also responsible for SilenceIsViolence day-to-day operations.

Manager: Stella Baty Landis
Baty Landis was a co-founder of SilenceIsViolence and remains very involved in the organization today, assisting in the management of programs as well as operations. Baty holds degrees from the University of California at Berkeley (BA) and Princeton University (MA, Ph.D.) in Music, Fine Arts, and Historical Musicology.

Board of Directors 2021:

In order to be nominated to the Board of Directors, candidates must have expertise in nonprofit governance or management, or other relevant professional or life experience. A strong commitment to the following core principles is required:

  • Respect, justice, and support for victims of violence and abuse
  • Criminal justice transparency and reform
  • Creative pathways to peace
  • Racial and gender equity

Paige Valente, Board Chair
Artist and Designer

Karen Kaia Livers
The People’s Institute

Lucretia Merriman-Jourdain
Louise S. McGehee School

Stephanie Minto-Gibson
Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff’s Office Crime Victims Division

Noelle Reznik
Morris Jeff Community School

Olivia Woolham

Sam Wyre
Independent Professional Photographer

Ex officio:
Tamara Jackson
Executive Director

Advisory Council:

Paige Royer, activist
Steve Watson, entrepreneur
Constance Parker, clinician