BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A quick run around the park in Scotlandville and good company on a Saturday morning looked like just your average community gathering, but it was actually a celebration of a big day in history, Juneteenth.
Juneteenth honors the day the last remaining slaves in the south were set free in 1865.
"That's history," said Elaine Simms. "It's history because our fathers and grandfathers were slaves, so they were free. We have to know that we are free."
"It's a free world, so many countries can't do what we do, so the opportunity is there and we want to encourage people to take that opportunity," said Pat McCallister-Leduff, president of Community Against Drugs and Violence.
For the past 25 years, CADAV has brought the community together to commemorate the emancipation of slaves, but it's now evolved into a place where people can network and encourage one another.
"Disseminating information to empower the people, so that we can remain free and not be enslaved to anything," McCallister-Leduff added.
"I want them to leave here with a sense of pride for who they are and what they stand for and also want them to leave with a sense of pride for where they are in their community," said Ebony Galloway, member of CADAV.
CADAV members said one of their biggest points is making sure children know their history and learn to be a beacon, despite their circumstances.
"It doesn't matter. It doesn't have to maintain those negative woes. You can be the light that you want to see in the community. If they see that light here, you would hope they would shed that light throughout the community and be proud of where they're from,"
CADAV said it is one of the first organizations in Baton Rouge that began honoring Juneteenth.