Silence Is Violence

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RSD Peace Clubs:

Please visit S/V Peace Club Blog

Anti-Violence Forums in the New Orleans public schools. Beginning with a pilot program at Rabouin High School in 2007, the SilenceIsViolence Peace Clubs combine arts workshops with frank anti-violence discussions led by students. Respected local artists serve as club mentors, leading both the anti-violence discussions and the creative expressions generated by these talks. The purpose of this program is to recruit New Orleans youth to the movement against violent crime and to call upon them to become peer role models in the community. By offering support for the ideas and projects of students and incorporating their input into our own programs, SilenceIsViolence hopes to instill in these students a sense of positive purpose and pride in the city, as well as to benefit from the special perspective they have access to as young people.

SilenceIsViolence Presents

SilenceIsViolence sponsors after-school youth empowerment programs in the arts. Current workshops include the Music Clinics and "Art Speaks" visual art workshops.

Music Clinics

The Purpose:

Our Music Clinics are our longest-standing program, thanks to solid support from the Threadheads organization, Renew Our Music, the Musicians Assistance Fund, and others. Started in January 2007, the Music Clinics take place each Spring and Fall semester, offering young people a positive activity in the early evening and an introduction to musical performance. Music Director and virtuoso trumpeter Shamarr Allen creates a nurturing, non-violent environment, while teaching young New Orleanians both the artistic and the business aspects of music. Professional coaches teach fundamental techniques on a range of instruments, including but not limited to trumpet, drums, saxophone, trombone, clarinet, and guitar, as well as various stringed instruments. Basic principles of music theory are also introduced. The clinics are imagined as accessible forums for young people to explore the world of music and to decide if they would like to pursue music through more
comprehensive educational programs.

The Process:

The clinics begin at 5:30pm each Tuesday and are tailored to the interests and abilities of participants. Each session includes an instruction period, a dinner break, and an informal jam sessions, during which clinic participants have the opportunity to perform with the professionals. In addition, children who participate in the weekly clinics have the opportunity to take one subsidized private lesson per week with a professional musician. Participants who attend regularly will receive free tickets to the 2010 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, courtesy of the Fest4Kidz/Threadheads program.

The Participants:

Music Director Shamarr Allen, a virtuoso trumpeter who has played with the Hot 8 and Rebirth Brass Bands, Bob French, and Willie Nelson, leads the clinics. Participating students can come as often as they like, or just occasionally. Dinner is provided by SilenceIsViolence and Sound Cafe. The Youth Music Clinics are made possible through the support and donations of the community! For more information or to make a donation call Kendra Reade (504-722-0908).

WHEN: September 29-November 13, Tuesdays 5:30pm-7:30pm
WHERE: Sound Cafe, 2700 Chartres Street (corner of Port), New Orleans
WHAT: Musical coaching and performance by professional New Orleans musicians. Free dinner for participants. Instruments provided.
MORE INFO: Call Kendra Reade at 504-722-0908

Art Speaks

The Purpose:

To engage young New Orleanians in conversations about social justice issues impacting New Orleans, culminating in public art projects that express the students' perspectives on the issues. Through a partnership with Young Aspirations/Young Artists, Inc. (YA/YA), Art Speaks is able to link professional artists and artists-in-training with other members of the youth community to explore visual artistic responses to violence, climate change, drugs, and a range of additional issues.

The Process:

Once a focus issue is chosen, YA/YA artists and other members of the community brainstorm about possible artistic responses to the issue. A location for a public art installation is chosen, and production takes place in quick response to the issues.

The Participants:

Jackie Sumell and the artists of YA/YA lead the Art Speaks workshops, with all interested teenagers taking part in the discussions and production.

WHEN: Two one-week projects per semester; Fall 2009 dates TBD
WHERE: YA/YA Studio, 338 Baronne Street, 3rd floor, New Orleans
WHAT: Public-art projects on social justice issues
MORE INFO: Call Baty Landis at (504) 208-8376.

Writing Clinics

The Purpose:

The SilenceIsViolence Writing Clinics encourage young people to express their ideas about community and anti-violence in their own creative ways, through prose and poetry. The Writing Clinics generate candid discussions about the violence in New Orleans, as well as creative approaches to challenging this violence. We publish semi-annual collections of the participants' writings, titled "When the Lyrics Broke." In this way, our young writers become not only part of a broader dialogue about healing, but also published authors.

The Process:

The clinics take place during the Spring and Fall semesters, beginning at 5pm on Wednesdays at Sound Cafe. Each session includes some writing instruction, some personal writing time, and some presentation by the youth participants. Dinner is served at the end of each meeting. Participants who attend regularly will be published in our "When the Lyrics Broke" journal.

The Participants:

Creative Director Shedrick White leads the instruction and presentations, as well as inviting guest artists during each Writing Clinics series. The Youth Writing Clinics are made possible through the support and donations of the community! For more information or to make a donation call Emily Palit (504-621-3853), Baty Landis (504-948-0917), or Creative Director Shedrick White (504-352-5288).

WHEN: March 4-April 22, 5pm-7pm
WHERE: Sound Cafe, 2700 Chartres Street (corner of Port), New Orleans
WHAT: Writing coaching and presentations by professional New Orleans poets and author. Free dinner for participants.
MORE INFO: Call Kendra Reade at 504-722-0908

Victim Allies Project

The Victim Allies Project has this mission: To provide our clientsóthe family and friends of homicide victimsówith the assistance and tools needed to successfully navigate the Orleans Parish criminal justice system.

The Victim Allies project provides victims of violent crime and their families with information and resources through the offices of the New Orleans Police Department, Orleans Parish District Attorney, and other criminal justice and law enforcement agencies. When victims and/or their families contact us for help, we pair them with trained volunteers to serve as partners during the period the victim or victim-survivor must spend negotiating the criminal justice system. These volunteer partners help summon resources and attention to their cases through direct communication with the DA's office, law enforcement, the Department of Justice, and/or Crimestoppers.

Click HERE for findings during the first year of the Victim Allies Project.

For more information call 504-390-8245, visit, or email

This is a collaborative effort of Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans and V.O.T.E.

City Walks

City Walks are community-led evening strolls through New Orleans neighborhoods. These walks are intended to nurture connections among neighborhoods, to establish a positive, anti-violence presence on our streets, and to bring new faces to businesses around the city. District police offficers and supervisors are invited to participate in these walks, with the benefit of introducing citizens to their neighborhood law enforcement. We walk 1-2 miles each week and will have a small reception at our destination establishment. Transportation will be provided back to the departure establishment.

Current walking route:

Silence Is Violence/Young Men Olympian Peace Walk

Start: Young Men Olympian, Jr. Hall 2101 South Liberty Street.

Out Josephine Street to Simon Bolivar Avenue. Up Simon Bolivar Avenue to Jackson Avenue.

Right on Jackson Avenue to Willow Street.

Right on Willow Street to Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

Right on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard to South Liberty Street.

End: Right on South Liberty Street to Josephine Street in Vacant Lot across from YMO, Jr. Hall.

Band will play after walk STOP

Ms. Jackson