One of those participants was newly elected Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome who was pleased with the large turnout.
"I'm here for a number of reasons as I am interested in hearing from Rev. Johnson, but I am also here to learn and grow myself," she said. "As I sit here and scan the room, I am so happy to see so many people here that have a genuine concern about closing racial gaps that exist. I am confident it will be energy such as this that will give us a great foundation to build upon."
Bishop Harvey expressed gratefulness to the Mayor for engaging in conversation and staying present for the entire event.
"She has many responsibilities and has been pushed and pulled in many directions during her first 20 days in office," Bishop Harvey said. "I will be forever grateful that she made this conversation a priority."
Conversation. It's a word that is often overlooked in today's world of social media postings, Facebook posts, tweets and snapchats but one of the events organizing pastors, Rev. Donnie Wilkinson, is convinced conversation brings about the most meaningful change.
"It is through conversation where we recognize the commonality we share with other people," the Broadmoor United Methodist Church pastor says. "There is a profound tendency in this country to retreat to our tribes and corners where we stay in an echo-chamber, only hearing things that already affirm the way we look at the world. In doing so, we only diminish ourselves. Part of the benefit of events like this is to help raise awareness and to give some real simple tools to engage with one another."
Baton Rouge is still waiting for the results of a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling.
Rev. Johnson's call is for all Louisianians to remain focused.
"Prepare to be who we've been called to be. There is still, and always will be, an imperative to be lived out; to love Christ and to love our neighbor, to do justly, to walk humbly and to love with kindness," he says, "You cannot legislate love and you cannot adjudicate justice but at the same time, we need to acknowledge, affirm and act. We need to see what's not right, lift up the importance of loving others, but then we need to do something. Doing nothing is not an option."