News & Events
SilenceIsViolence partners with many community businesses and organizations to bring uplifting and thereputic events to our community.
June 5th Weekly Update!
Tue, Jun. 05, 2007
We have two events this week to tell you about. One is the
culmination of the first semester of our Program for Peace in our
Schools. This Wednesday, June 6, we will host SPEAK UP: A Showcase of
Words, Music, Art, and Actions, from 4 to 7pm at Sound Cafe (2700
Chartres St.). Students from Douglass and Rabouin High Schools will
present creative works, utilizing aesthetic expression to address,
both directly and indirectly, their own reactions, responses, and
alternatives to violence. The event is free and will serve as the
first in a series of SPEAK UP events designed to spotlight non-violent
and anti-violence aesthetic expression among the youth of New Orleans.
SPEAK UP: A Showcase of Words, Music, Art, and Action
Featuring works by the students of Rabouin and Douglass High Schools
Wednesday, June 6
Sound Cafe (2700 Chartres St. at Port)
No cover; donations to Program for Peace in our Schools accepted
In addition, on Thursday, June 7, we will hold our next
SilenceIsViolence City Walk. Starting back at the New Hope Baptist
Church, where Pastor John Raphael was our exceedingly gracious host
last week, we will walk through Central City, across St. Charles
Avenue, and into the Lower Garden District. The complete route
follows and, as always, is available on our website,
START: New Hope Baptist Church, 1807 LaSalle St., 7pm sharp! From in
front of the church, walk up Felicity St. to Simon Bolivar. Turn
RIGHT onto Simon Bolivar, LEFT onto St. Andrew St., RIGHT onto S.
Saratoga, and LEFT onto Josephine St. Follow Josephine to Magazine
St.; turn LEFT to Sophie's Ice Cream Parlor, 1912 Magazine St.
Sophie, the proprietor, has arranged a banjo player to entertain us
over our sweet rewards, and SilenceIsViolence will sponsor FREE ice
cream cones for kids under 12! As always, transportation will be
provided back to the starting point between 8 and 9pm.
As many of you know, yesterday the FBI released crime statistics for
2006 and the news was not good: New Orleans topped the list of most
murderous cities. And violent crime is on the rise nationwide. This
is particularly true in large cities, which have seen an increase of
6.7% in the murder rate compared to 2005. Looking at the stats by
region, only the Northeast was spared and the greatest increases were
seen in the west. But these statistics should not be used as comfort
or excuse. We need to continue our work within our own communities in
order to turn it around.
When we formed SilenceIsViolence in January, our goal was to focus the
attention of our city leadership onto the critical problem of violent
crime in New Orleans. On January 11, by means of the March For
Survival, we walked straight to the door of our elected leaders and
demanded that they turn their ears upon our voices and their eyes upon
our anguish and their resources upon solving the problem of violent
crime in New Orleans. The response from most of our leaders has been
decisive and sustained, and we take pride in the small but significant
decrease in local violent crime that began to take hold in late
January, 2007. Yet we also quickly recognized the importance of
citizen outreach, citizen intervention, and a gradual but insistent
citizen-led shift in the psychology on our streets. We must, within
our communities and sometimes within our homes, replace of a culture
of suspicion, intimidation, and violence with one of respect,
education, and long-term prevention. This is why we designed the
SilenceIsViolence City Walks, which draw together neighbors and
neighborhoods and reaffirm our common determination to render New
Orleans safer and more liveable. It is why we designed the Program
for Peace in our Schools, which invites the school-age children who
exist in the midst of the most excruciating and debilitating local
violence to join our citizen coalition in pursuing alternatives.
We invite you to join us through support of both of these programs.
Without letting up an ounce of pressure on our leadership or a decibel
in our demands that they do their jobs in protecting us, we must do
our own part to shape a more civil and secure city. The SPEAK UP
showcase taking place this Wednesday marks the culmination of our
current Program for Peace session, but during the 2007-2008 academic
year we will conduct committed, year-long programs in six New Orleans
Recovery District high school and two middle schools. If you cannot
attend the event this Wednesday, please comtribute funds toward next
year's sessions through our website, www.silenceisviolence.org (a
Paypal donation button is at the bottom of the home page). And please
join us on Thursday, whether for the entire walk from Central City to
the Lower Garden District or for ice cream at Sophie's at the end of
the route. If we are to continue holding our leaders accountable, we
must also demonstrate that we are doing our part as citizens, delving
into the streets and the schools and turning our neighborhoods around
from the ground up.
Be safe, send your thoughts, and work for
Ken and Baty