BATON ROUGE, La. (NBC Local 33) (FOX 44) — East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux in partnership with Professional Athletes Supporting Students (PASS), announced that they will donate 200 backpacks to students in honor of the late Sadie Roberts Joseph.

The backpacks are engraved with the name of Joseph and a bio of ‘Miss Sadie,’ who founded the African American History Museum and was found dead in the trunk of her car on July 12.

“I’ve known and loved Miss Sadie for years and I really admired and respected her for her dedication to education and young people.  She was an advocate for change. She was just a beam of light. A ray of hope,” said Sheriff Gautreaux.  “She was always the same every time I was around her, so being able to do this is just a small thing that we can do to honor her. They tried to silence Miss Sadie, but her voice will continue to be strong through the countless people she’s touched.  She’s gone, but her contributions to the community will never be forgotten.”

EBR Sheriff Sid Gautreaux addresses the media regarding partnership with PASS.

“Miss Sadie was a leader and a woman of purpose. She was a woman who loved her community and dedicated her life to making our community better,” said Lyman White, PASS board member.“We want to honor her legacy and her memory so that people will never forget who Miss Sadie was. We want everyone to remember her name.” 

Each backpack is engraved with the name of the late founder of the African American Museum.

“This is such an honor,” said Angela Machen, Roberts-Joseph’s daughter.  “My mother would be truly humbled to know that her name is being placed on these backpacks. She loved helping the kids in the community.” 

The backpacks will be distributed on Aug. 9 at Howell Place gym  to students in the community.

Roberts-Joseph opened the museum formerly known as the Odell S. Williams Now and Then African American Museum in 2001. She also organized the city’s Juneteenth celebrations. 

For more information, call the founder of PASS Lyman White at (225) 502-6920. If you would like to make a donation, text (830) 355-3154.