In St. Mary Parish, a group of young professionals urges people for the third consecutive year to take stock in their neighborhoods.
Founded by Morgan City resident Courtney Long, Hoodstock aims to increase social, political and cultural awareness and engagement amid low-income Morgan City residents, according to one of the event’s organizers, Danika Foley.
“We want to bolster awareness as well as get people involved,” Foley said.
Elected officials are expected to give addresses and mingle with attendees in order to become better acquainted with their constituents. Foley said this will allow voters to make better ballot decisions and hold officials accountable.
“We vote for these public officials, and a lot of times people don’t know who they are,” Foley said.
Hoodstock is held on an annual basis, but the organization communicates with residents throughout the year. In addition to multiple poetry by candlelight events – one featuring Louisiana Poet Laureate Julie Cane – the organization surveys its community.
“We found they want more activities for children,” Foley said. “They want their children to be involved in athletic and social events. … They’re looking for free events” because swimming classes, for example, sometimes cost in the hundreds of dollars.
Hoodstock also hosted a “Transitioning to Womanhood” event last month.
Activities on hand at the free-admission, Oct. 12 event include bounce houses, a rock wall and a mechanical bull. Food and drinks are sold, and entertainment is provided by a disc jockey and spoken-word artists. Free health screenings are also offered.
A minister lectures on the male’s role in the community, a representative of the Louisiana Workforce Commission gives tips on gaining employment and a legal expert talks about self-policing and understanding the laws.
“It’s a party with a purpose,” Foley said.
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call (985) 255-0896.