SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Community building and support will be at the forefront of the recently revived Sioux Falls chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

The chapter recently elected leadership including President Langston Newton. Community leaders Julian Beaudion and Harriet Yocum also were elected to leadership roles.

It’s been a few years since Sioux Falls had its own NAACP chapter and Newton said there’s been talks for a while of reviving it, but nobody had the time to take the lead. That’s where Newton came in.

Newton said that he recently witnessed a bar fight that turned into a shooting, and it spurred him into action.

“These were just kids; young guys who didn’t have the direction. It was just a fight for no reason,” Newton explained. “After that experience, it was just like, we need to go ahead and get this done. If they need me to be the one who starts up, I’ll go ahead and be the person who does it.”

With the Sioux Falls chapter, Newton is hoping to create a large youth presence, especially among youth of color, through programming that is both educational and engaging. But the chapter won’t just be limited to youth or people of color, Newton added. It’s for everyone.

“I don’t want people thinking that this is just for this just for Black people,” Newton explained. “The NAACP has a long history of being a very diverse, a very diverse group of people that just have a similar goal and that is to try to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination for all peoples.”

The chapter, open to anyone interested, will focus first on education. Newton wants the NAACP to “extend a hand” to those willing to begin a conversation on how to make the Sioux Falls community better. Having leaders like Beaudion and Yocum helps with that.

“Having those people who are active, who hold that presence themselves… so far has been just a great resource,” Newton said.

The chapter is also focusing on creating their own presence within the community.

“We’re gonna show up,” Newton said. “That’s one of the things that I really want to make sure that, as the president, that’s my where my goal is: to make sure that we are an organized group of people that show up to things that show up and support people and show support causes that are that further what the NAACP is about.”

That includes raising awareness about an upcoming school board election, potential partnerships with ACE Academy and showing support for cultural events in the coming months such as Cinco de Mayo.

While the group is still in the early phases of organizing, Newton said there’s already been a lot of discussion about making an impact on the community.

“We had our first meeting and it was just a roomful of doers. You know, our executive committee is a roomful of doers. And so, if there’s something that needs to be done, we’re definitely willing to look at it,” Newton said.

To connect with the chapter, you can follow for updates on Facebook and Instagram.