Preventing Lethal Violence in New Orleans

A Public Symposium on Effective Community-Based Solutions

Date/Time: Friday, Oct. 26, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall, Communications/Music Complex
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Schedule of Events

Morning Sessions


 9:00 – 9:45: Mark Manganaro, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs
Ronal Serpas, Superintendent of New Orleans Police Department
William E. Thornton, Chair and Professor of Sociology, Department of Criminal Justice
Dee Wood Harper, Emeritus Professor of Sociology

Violence and the Community: Lessons from the Chicago Neighborhood Project 

Robert Sampson, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences
Harvard University

 10:45- 11:45: NOLA for Life: A Public Health Approach to Murder Reduction

Karen DeSalvo, New Orleans Health Commissioner
C. Thorpe Ray Endowed Chair of Internal Medicine
Tulane University

 11:45-12:15: Question and Answer
 12:15-1:30: Lunch break

Afternoon Sessions

 1:45-2:45: Stopping the Killing in New Orleans: Focus, Legitimacy, and Common Ground

David Kennedy, Director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control
Professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

 2:45-3:45: The Hustle: Why It’s Hard to Make Good in Today’s Inner City

Nikki Jones, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of California, Santa Barbara

 3:45-5:00: Question and Answer


Karen DesalvoDr. Karen B. DeSalvo, M.D., is professor of medicine at the Tulane School of Medicine and holds the C. Thorpe Ray Endowed Chair in Internal Medicine. She is the City of New Orleans Health Commissioner and serves as Senior Health Policy Advisor to Mayor Mitch Landrieu. In this role, she directs the Health Department, whose mission is to protect and promote the health of New Orleanians, and also advises Mayor Landrieu on local, state and federal health policy matters. She has undertaken a major effort to transform and modernize the City Health Department into one more effective and capable of improving the public’s health. Dr. DeSalvo is vice dean for community affairs and health policy and has responsibility for implementing the Medical School’s mission to build healthier communities. Dr. DeSalvo has 20 years of practice, research and policy experience aimed at improving access to quality, affordable community health care for all. Dr. DeSalvo has been a leader in health sector recovery and health care reform efforts since Hurricane Katrina. Part of this work includes the development of nationally award winning models of neighborhood-based care for low income, uninsured and other vulnerable populations in a city that previously had none. These community health programs grew from innovation born of crises when New Orleans’ health care infrastructure flooded and created a clean slate and the opportunity to build a community health network that has become a model for the nation. She is president of the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum, is a member of the Louisiana Medical Care Advisory Commission and is vice chair of the Louisiana Heath Care Commission. DeSalvo was recognized as the Woman of Excellence in Health Care by the Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus for her health care reform efforts in 2008. Under her leadership, the American Association of Medical Colleges for community service recognized the Tulane School of Medicine as one of the top medical schools in the U.S. in 2010.

Dee Wood HarperDee Wood Harper is emeritus professor of sociology in the Department of Criminal Justice at Loyola University New Orleans. He has published books, journal articles and book chapters on a wide variety of topics including revenge murder, homicide followed by suicide, the death penalty, and violence and crime in the context of disasters. Three of his most recent co-authored books are Crime and Criminal Justice in Disaster (Dee Wood Harper and Kelly Frailing), Carolina Academic Press, 2012; Violence: Do we know it when we see it? (Dee Wood Harper, William E. Thornton and Lydia Voigt) 2012 and Why Violence? Leading Questions Regarding the Conceptualization and Reality of Violence in Society (William E. Thornton, Lydia Voigt, and Dee Wood Harper), also with Carolina Press.

Nikki JonesNikki Jones is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the recipient of the New Scholar Award from the American Society of Criminology’s Division on Women and Crime (2010) and Division on People of Color and Crime (2009). A recent William T. Grant Scholar (2007-2012), Professor Jones has published two books on gender and violence, including the sole-authored Between Good and Ghetto: African American Girls and Inner City Violence (2010) and Fighting for Girls: New Perspectives on Gender and Violence (2010). Her writing also appears in peer-reviewed journals in sociology, gender studies, and criminology. Jones earned her Ph.D. in Sociology and Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania.

David KennedyDavid M. Kennedy is the director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. He directed the Boston Gun Project, whose “Operation Ceasefire” intervention was responsible for a more than sixty percent reduction in youth homicide victimization and won the Ford Foundation Innovations in Government award; the Herman Goldstein International Award for Problem-Oriented Policing, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police Webber Seavey Award. He developed the High Point drug market intervention strategy, which also won Innovations in Government Award. He helped design and field the Justice Department’s Strategic Approaches to Community Safety Initiative, the Treasury Department’s Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Drug Market Intervention Program. He is the co-chair of the National Network for Safe Communities, an alliance of more than 50 jurisdictions dedicated to reducing crime, reducing incarceration, and addressing the racial conflict associated with traditional crime policy. He is the author of Deterrence and Crime Prevention: Reconsidering the prospect of Sanction, co-author of Beyond 911: A New Era for Policing, and a wide range of articles on gang violence, drug markets, domestic violence, firearms trafficking, deterrence theory, and other public safety issues. His latest book, Don’t Shoot, One Man, a Street Fellowship and the End of Violence in Inner-City America published by Bloomsburg in Sept. 2011.

Robert SampsonRobert J. Sampson is the Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University and Director of the Social Sciences Program at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. He currently serves as President of the American Society of Criminology and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Professor Sampson’s research interests focus on crime, inequality, the life course, neighborhood effects, nonprofit organizations, and the social structure of the contemporary city. His most recent book—Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect—was published in 2012 by the University of Chicago Press.

Superintendant Ronal SerpasRonal W. Serpas was appointed Superintendent of Police, New Orleans Police Department (NOPD), on May 6, 2010, by Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu. Serpas served as the sixth Police Chief in the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department history appointed in January 2004 and serving until his appointment to the NOPD. He is now a 30-year law enforcement veteran, having served as Chief of the Washington State Patrol (WSP) before appointed Chief in Nashville. Prior to his tenure in Washington, Chief Serpas retired as the Assistant Superintendent of Police and the first Chief of Operations of the NOPD charged with implementing wide scale organization restructuring, initiating the CompStat model in the NOPD and leading all patrol, investigative, special response units and community-policing functions. Chief Serpas received his Doctorate in Urban Studies, with an emphasis in Urban Crime, from the University of New Orleans (a Louisiana State University System school). Chief Serpas continues to participate and contribute on the national and international level of police leadership through his appointment to the International Association of Chiefs of Police Executive Committee which is the governing and policy making body of the IACP, providing oversight and direction to the IACP, and his service as Co-Chair of the Research Advisory Committee (RAC) of the IACP. On October 26, 2011, Chief Serpas was voted the new Fourth Vice President of the IACP. His position as Fourth Vice President ensures that he will be President of the IACP in four years.

William ThorntonWilliam E. Thornton is a professor of sociology and chairperson of the Department of Criminal Justice at Loyola University New Orleans. He is a forensic criminologist specializing in crime foreseeability and premises defense liability issues. Thornton’s research, books, and other publications have been in the areas of juvenile delinquency, criminology, violence, social justice, crime prevention and control. His most recent co-authored book is Why Violence? Leading Questions Regarding the Conceptualization and Reality of Violence in Society (William E. Thornton, Lydia Voigt, and Dee Wood Harper), Carolina Press, 2012. 

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