Diamonds Are Forever
It is with great sadness that we write to our community and supporters today to let you know that BreakOUT! has experienced another great loss, the death of one of our Core Member Leaders, Diamond D’Maree.
Diamond died on Saturday, June 27 at her home surrounded by close family and friends, with BreakOUT! flyers scattered across her floor and a leftover protest sign that read Dignidad.
In addition to being a daughter, sister, cousin, mother, and friend to so many, Diamond was also a leader in our community. Through the Posh Academy, Diamond was working to achieve her HiSET and was also a part of the first Building Our Power Institute cohort where she refined her organizing skills. She rallied with BreakOUT! at the Southern Harm Reduction Conference for an expanded Medicaid, attended Culture Clashes and other events in solidarity with undocumented immigrant workers, and was instrumental in the development of our We Deserve Better report on policing in New Orleans, being trained by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency to chair our Data Committee. Diamond was also active in the cultural traditions of her city and could be found every Sunday at the second line.
Famous for her glaring side eye when in doubt or skeptical of something someone said, Diamond was a quiet, but powerful force within BreakOUT!, always encouraging us to “cut the foolishness” and get serious about the work that lay ahead.
While we understand her death was not the direct result of street violence like so many of our community members experience, we also understand that it was ultimately state violence that led to her passing at such a young age. Poor healthcare for transgender people of color, including the lack of an expanded Medicaid in Louisiana, repressive educational systems that refuse to provide even minimum levels of sex education or reproductive justice, high rates of school push-out for LGBTQ youth of color, poverty and unemployment in the Black community, and a lack of stable housing for transgender women in New Orleans all contributed to her death.
BreakOUT! will continue our work to transform New Orleans into a safer community for all of us in her memory, and in the memory of so many others we have lost.
May you rest in power and with dignidad.
Donations for the family may be made here, flowers or donations may also be sent directly to Majestic Funeral Home,1833 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70113.