Community activist Fredrick "Fred" Prejean is being honored Tuesday night at the Community Foundation of Acadiana's Lafayette Civic Cup ceremony.
Prejean's activism began during the civil rights movement. Today, he's the president of Move the Mindset, a group dedicated to racial and social justice in the community. The organization has recently advocated for officials to remove the statue of General Alfred Mouton from its location in Downtown Lafayette.
Prejean was born and raised in Lafayette and is a graduate of Southern University. Throughout his years of community involvement, he has served in various capacities, including as committee chairman for the Heymann Scholarship Academic Awards, a member of the Lafayette NAACP, and the the chairperson of the Lafayette Planning and Zoning Commission.
He also served as undersecretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Gary McGoffin, a member of the Executive Committee for the Civic Cup, said of Prejean, "Fred attended Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech in Washington, D.C. when Fred was a teenager. He was active in student government, in student politics at Southern University back in the 60s. He's come to our community and been very involved in supporting people both through his work in cooperatives to give people better economic opportunities and consulting with good causes within the community."
"We want to emphasize that one person can make a difference," McGoffin added about the annual award. "Obviously one person can't do it by themselves, but one person can be a catalyst. Everyone here, when they hear Fred's story and they see the history of the Civic Cup, will walk out and hopefully be inspired to do the same thing."
McGoffin explained that the organization aims to recognize citizens who are willing to support their community and look out for the community first. He hopes others will be inspired by the individuals honored.
"Acadiana is very special for that," he said. "With the tradition we have here, it's nice to be able to recognize and acknowledge that every year, and hopefully, in some small way, inspire people to do the same thing in their lives."
The Civic Cup was first awarded in 1933 to Lafayette entrepreneur Maurice Heymann. Past recipients include Edith Garland Dupre, Ed Abel, and Paul Hilliard. Read more about the Civic Cup and Prejean HERE.
Tuesday's ceremony was held at the Petroleum Club.
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