LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – A group of ministers is urging people to stop spending money in Lafayette, to send a clear message for leaders to focus on improving the Northside.

The Southwest Louisiana Ministerial Coalition, and community leaders, are taking action. They’re calling it ‘economic abstinence’. They want people to buy-in to buy out of Lafayette during the holidays.

“We can bring clarity to things that plague our community,” said Bishop Ben Carter, of Church Without Walls. “Raise awareness of the plight of the underserved in our community.”

They’re calling it ‘economic abstinence’, but some would call it a boycott.

“What this is, what we call in scripture, a form of fasting,” said Bishop Larry Lloyd, of Spirit of Liberty Global Ministries. “Depriving ourselves in order to help others.”

They hope this will help focus on several areas of concern on the Northside that need to be addressed. They say economic disparities (lack of jobs and economic development), social unrest (crime and violence), and lack of accountability by community leaders. For example, the firing of Thomas Glover as Lafayette’s first black police chief, without reason.

“How long will we put up with this? How long will it continue,” said John Milton, attorney and community activist. “What can be done about it?”

They are asking people to not buy goods and services in Lafayette, which could be expanded to other parts of the parish, but they encourage people to continue to support black businesses.