SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — An event focused on culture and connection started up its second season at Swamp Daddy’s in Downtown Sioux Falls Thursday night.
Owners Julian and Inkka Beaudion created the event to help drive business on a slow night and give people an opportunity to have discussions on a variety of topics, particularly members of the Black community.
“We have really created more of an atmosphere to where people feel comfortable not just showing up, but also engaging in the conversation. And we get into some spirited debate sometimes, but we always keep it very responsible, but we also keep it very respectful,” Julian Beaudion said.
Julian Beaudion says the event is one of a kind in Sioux Falls.
“It’s important for all people, but very particularly, we created this event for Black folks, right? For Black people. There’s not a space in our community, in our city, that allows us as Black individuals or as Black professionals to get together and discuss the important topics. And so we created that again. It’s a safe zone for everyone, but all of our all of our topics are Black-focused,” Beaudion said.
They are very strategic on the topics and issues discussed and bring in guests and experts to talk as well.
“We have had several conversations about mental health. We had a conversation about love, but we also had a conversation about defunding the police. Today, we have another controversial topic. It’s 4/20, so we’ll be talking about some 4/20 issues, right. Some marijuana issues. We’ll be talking about some of the legalization behind medicinal marijuana and also recreational marijuana, and really just getting people’s opinions based on that,” Beaudion said.
Tyra Hawkins moved to Sioux Falls from Tennessee last year. She says having this space with people she can relate to is really important.
“I feel like we learn so much from each other. I know even in the conversations that I’ve had, I’ve had people come up to me and tell me that I’ve taught them things, they’ve taught me things. I think just having a sense of community and also being able just to learn stuff from one another and just being able to kind of take those things and apply them to our everyday life, or whatever the case, I think is helpful for all of us ,” Hawkins said.
The event is hosted at Swamp Daddy’s in the Jones 421 Building downtown on the first and third Thursday of the month. Discussion starts at 6:30 p.m.