HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - "It was a big deal it was something I've been looking forward to for 20 years," said Thelma Scott founder and chairman of S.A.F.E. Diversity Communities.
The non-profit is known for advocating for students with disabilities.
"With this organization, we want to make sure there's peace for these children because we don't know how these children live at home," said Kathy Tatum.
"We had a lot of moving parts going on and we were all very excited to celebrate the 20 years of all the incredible community work that she's done," said Tina Chandler-Ducena.
The virtual scholarship awards gala was on Zoom and Facebook Live.
"Combined total of views we had close to 500 people watching us at the time," said Max Power.
Suddenly Zoom participants say they heard strange sounds.
"We started to look and see who had an open mike that was a participant in the Zoom meeting," said attorney Leona Filis.
"A lot of us were like I don't know what that is it was a random sound," Ducena said. "A lot of us were I think I recognize that."
The sounds got louder participants say, and it was clear it was sex sounds once they heard the name of a known porn site.
"Five minutes felt like an hour," said Nathan Fryar. "Finally this text comes up on the screen which has a very derogatory racial slur and Max said I have no control over the computer."
"In my mind, I just couldn't figure out why would somebody do something so hateful," Scott said.
“We're not gonna to let it bring us down, we're not gonna let it discourage us, and we're gonna keep going,” said Carl Ducena, Emcee and NORMAL TO BE FIT co-founder.
The FBI and the Harris County Sheriff's Office are investigating this as a hate crime.