Using talent to fight violence

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They sing on the steps of City Hall in New Orleans with their hands held high.


They hold a yellow sign with a gun crossed out by a red “X.”

“He’s going to fulfill every promise to you.”

One man, in a black t-shirt and gold-framed sunglasses, starts rapping.

“These lyrics are bearing fruit. Every song is a sermon I deliver to the youth.”

They are showing off their talent to fight street violence.

It’s the 15th year for the Silence the Violence Foundation Talent Show, which is Saturday (Oct. 1) from 12 p.m.-6 p.m. at Washington Square Park in the Marigny.

Reverend Christiana Ford, Pastor of House of Faith Non-Denomination Ministries, started the talent show to give young people options. She wants them to avoid the situations that lead to violence, while at the same time giving young men and women an opportunity to show off their artistic sides.

The talent show also raises money to help the Silence the Violence Foundation continue its community outreach programs.

Reverend Ford gets emotional when she talks about the talent show because she has lost a loved one to violence.

“We need somebody to help save our sons and daughters,” Reverend Ford says. “They are going to the grave too early. They are going to the cemetery too early. We need help out here. ¬†Somebody, please, please help us.”

Reverend Ford says you can help by going to the talent show. For more information about the talent show, check out the Silence the Violence Foundation website.