LAFAEYTTE, La. (KLFY)– Black voters matter southwest region 4 youth division is a new coalition leaders throughout Acadiana are trying to put together.

Devon Norman said this coalition was put together through partnerships with fellow leaders in the Acadiana region wanting to encourage youth about their right to be heard and allow them the space to do so. The meeting in Baton Rouge allowed youth to listen and engage in different sessions throughout the day.

“It’s a way to let your voice be heard,” Norman said. “We had the opportunity if we chose to, to speak on any agenda item to show support.”

Norman said the coalition will be another step in taking action to teach youth in eight parishes that their voices matter and the importance of voting.

Legislators and public officials like DeVante Lewis were in attendance for the meeting, speaking with Norman and youth from Acadiana. Lewis said groups like the new coalition is what’s needed in spaces like government because most movements have been started by youth and young adults wanting to make a change.

“What I really stress is often the next social movement normally starts with youth,” Lewis said. “So don’t be afraid to use your voice.”

Norman said everyone involved is working diligently to bring this coalition to life and said any and all support is welcomed and appreciated.

“Dealing with an organization like Black Voters Matter is to of course hit the ground running as it relates to voting rights issues getting young people registered to vote. Getting them involved in the legislative process, and going on trips as we did yesterday to actually get them involved in the legislative process,” Norman said.