Event helps support local businesses and artists

NOW: Event helps support local businesses and artists

LA PORTE, Ind.--After recent national events of injustice and racism in the African American community, LaPorte County locals organized a “Listen, Learn, Educate and Celebrate” event today to support their African American brothers and sisters.

“We came together after seeing Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, the injustices of what’s been going on in society,” Organizer Carlie Dunn said. “We wanted to come together and bring the community together and support our local black community.”

Musical performances, fun, and food filled the air during the free event all to show support and showcase local black businesses and artists.

“All of our businesses are black owned businesses; most of our artists are black artists. We really want to lift up their voices and support their businesses and by doing that bring awareness to the fact that we do lack diversity,” Organizer Janie Swanson said.

While the event was free, donations were encouraged to help a local youth organization, The Soul Steppers, who were financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“This year was a really tough year for them. They normally do parades to raise money for fundraisers, the last one they did was in March and they missed almost all of their fundraising,” Swanson said.

Bringing joy, recognition and fun was the main goal during this event, but having fun while also being safe was key amid the pandemic.

“We are asking that everyone wears masks and that they’re respecting the distance between themselves and others, and so the 6 feet apart. We have hand sanitizer and we’re also offering masks as well,” Dunn said.

Event planners are starting up their own organization called “People of Power of LaPorte County.”

They hope this event will inspire others to support their local black community and to get involved.

“We’re hoping that once people hear that at the event tonight that people want to get involved because we need more diversity and we hope that our organization will set the standard and example of what diversity should look like in institutions and organizations,” Dunn said.

This was the first celebration that organizers have held, but they do plan to hold more in the very near future.

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