East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux and state Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith were honored Tuesday night at the annual Brotherhood Sisterhood Award Dinner for their efforts to bridge racial, cultural, ethnic and gender gaps in the capital city region.
John F. Smith, a co-chairman of the award ceremony along with Joseph G. Simmons, said Gautreaux and Smith were chosen based on their lifelong commitments to community, service and diversity.
Gautreaux became the first law enforcement officer to receive the award. Since 1963, more than 85 people have been honored as part of the awards dinner, which this year was sponsored by 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge and by Forum 35.
“This is a tremendous honor,” Gautreaux said in a video produced for the awards show, which took place Tuesday night at L’Auberge Casino and Hotel. “We’re all human beings. We’re all created equal.”
Smith, D-Baton Rouge, stressed in her video the importance of coming together regardless of race, religion and gender for a common good.
“We’re a gumbo,” Smith said. “We really have differences of all kinds. And if we don’t come together, we’ll never have the flavor.”