“Whatever you’re passionate about will write the legacy you leave to the world,” said Twahna P. Harris, whose passion in advocacy is writing an enduring legacy against domestic violence.
Recognized statewide for the work she does to assist domestic violence survi- vors, Harris’s personal journey of abuse has equipped her to empower women and men of all ages to “stand up and speak out”. Her life story was included in The Pixel Project: The Survivor Stories 2015 in honor of Mother’s Day—the same year that she was nominated for the United States Women Summit. Harris is the founder and executive director of The Butterfly Society, a Zachary, La.-based, anti-domestic violence non-profit established in 2014.
The Arnaudville, Louisiana, native has been a member of the Community Coordinated Responsive Team with Iris Domestic Violence Center and the TaskForce on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services.
Last Fall, Harris was appointed by Gov. John Bel Edwards to the stateDomestic Violence Task Force Commision. Under her leadership, The Butterfly Society has estab ished memorial gardens in four Louisiana cities, partnered with barbershops for discussions with men, influenced domestic violence policies, and supported hundreds of survivors seeking escape or restoration. Twahna Harris, 47, is a person to watch.
Moves made in 2015 to 2017: I have been appointed to Domestic Violence Task Force Commission for the State of Louisiana. The Butterfly Society is a household name. I’m blessed to be employed with them as the legislative assistant to East Baton Rouge Councilman Lamont Cole in District 7 .
What to expect in 2018: GREATNESS!
Personal resolution: Never forget to reach back.
Life/Business Motto: Meeting people where they are.
Business resolution: The work we do is never about ourselves but those we serve.
Best Advice You’re Ever Received? Be who you are, not who people say you are.
Role models: My mother Cecelia W. Porch, grandmother Mable D. White, my sister Wanda M. Porch, my aunt Elmira P. Jefferson, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, and my uncle Joseph L. White.
What has been a deciding moment or experience that pushed you forward? Surviving domestic violence was a defining moment in my life. Making a commitment to help educate, engage, and empower communities to end domestic violence.
What are you reading? Hacks by Donna Brazile
What’s entertaining you? Blue Blood, Chicago PD, Law and Order Special Victim Unit
What music are you listening/ dancing to? R & B, Zydeco
Social media: Facebook: Twahna P Harris, TheButterflySociety14
Twitter: @ butterflyorgLA
Twelve Louisiana residents have been selected by The Drum’s publisher and staff as people to watch in 2018. In this issue, we introduce five: NAACP State President Michael McClanahan, councilwoman Chauna Banks, novelist Lynn Emery, anti-domestic violence activist Twahna Harris, and policy advisor James Gilmore Jr. Ph.D.