BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The Gulf South regions join together to celebrate the culture and take action on climate change.

On Saturday, June 4, over 500 people from the Southern region such as Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Puerto Rico, gathered in Baton Rouge at Rhorer Plaza for the Gulf Gathering for Climate Justice and Joy.

This gathering featured live music, dancing, and regional food, allowing those in attendance to celebrate and enjoy the Gulf South culture. Communities spoke about the fight against the oil and gas industries, as they attempted to find ways address the situation.

“It’s been incredibly powerful to see people from all over the gulf south sharing their stories and learning about our shared struggles. We’re learning from our friends and neighbors and have really started to build a foundation to mobilize and make something different,” says Executive Director of the Alliance for Affordable Energy Logan Burke.

The event was a project for a Green New Deal, a regional coalition of over 300 organizations creating long-existing work towards climate, racial, and economic justice. With representatives from every state and territory that borders the Gulf of Mexico, the event brought out voices of the communities affected by the exploitation of oil and gas companies.

The focus was “false climate promises,” which refers to technologies that oil and gas companies has depended on after admitting the threat of climate change. While some companies claim those tools help reduce the climate crisis, they all result in investing in a new framework to burn carbon. The chance to re-establishing oil and gas companies and slow the transition to a more renewable economy has led scientists to criticize these technologies.

“What’s powerful about bringing all these people together is that we’re doing it in Baton Rouge. I think that’s so necessary for a city that has so many people that have been oppressed by oil and gas to start to feel the energy and the possibilities of a 100% renewable future and of climate justice and joy. I think the energy that we’re bringing is something unique to the city,” said Sierra Club Grassroots Volunteer Angelle Bradford.