LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– A free concert was held in Lafayette to unify the community and inform people on how important their vote is in the upcoming elections.
Non-profit organization Black Voters Matter brought the community together to push voter participation and non-violence. Darnell Norman, organizer for the event, said the purpose is to bring everyone in Lafayette together on one accord.
“We bringing everybody onto one as a unit and with elections,” Norman said. “We just want everybody to all come together as one as a Lafayette team.”
Regan Parker, an artist at the event, said with the election coming up, everyone needs to know how they can vote for who they want in office.
“It’s very important because we have a lot of good people running, and we wanna make sure that everybody that’s not knowledgeable of the election that they come out and listen to everybody that’s running and they pick the person of their choice,” Parker said. “We not telling them who to pick… they go with whoever they feel comfortable with.”
Jason Papillion, a retired professional boxer from Lafayette, said the community being there for each other is the only way the right people will be voted into office.
“We need to put the right people in office,” Papillion said. “We need to come out here and support. Support, that’s the most important thing. We need to be there for each other so we can have the right people in office that can help us out.”
With violence on the uptick in the area, local artist YV Da Prince said change starts with respecting your parents.
“I lost my little brother to gun violence, so at the end of the day, I’m not with it, so I think that the youth need to get back into,” YV Da Prince said. “Get back into y’all sports. Start learning how to respect y’all parents. Start learning how to respect y’all moms, y’all dads. Sometimes they jump on us. We might think it’s for wrong reasons, but it’s for the right reasons.”
Eugene Broussard, an attendee, said community bonding and communication will prevent future gun violence from happening.
“A lot of gathering, friendship, people that haven’t seen people in years, to come together, talk with each other because we don’t want it to be a funeral where we see each other again,” Broussard said.
Devon Norman, member of Black Voters Matter, said the organization wanted the northside of Lafayette to know they are loved.
“We just wanted to let the community know that we are here, just to let this part of Lafayette know ‘Hey, we care about you too’,” Norman said.
The organization said they hope this event brings the community closer together.