Talk Show event celebrates Black History Month

The Our Growth Project (OGP) partnered with the Black Student Union (BSU) at Augustana University to craft the very first Black History Month Event Talk Show which focused on educating the public about local entrepreneurs.

The program was filled with many different styles of entertainment, including a dance break from four Washington High School boys and a concert performance from local rapper Soleil Bashal. The entertainment portion brought life to the event and involved the audience. 

However, the focus of the event was more on education about Black History Month instead of art and entertainment. In the past, the OGP has put together an open mic night This year, they decided to challenge themselves by creating a talk show night filled with interviews and inspiring people from the community. 

“The biggest thing is innovation so we can give the community something that was challenging to us and will grow our program,” said OGP President Sul Dibba. 

Throughout the night, Dibba kept the program flowing smoothly, even through some technical difficulties. The questions prepared for the three guest speakers were well thought out and informed the audience about successful individuals of color in the community.

Swamp Daddy’s Cajun Kitchen owners Inkka and Julian Beaudion were the first interviewees of the night. The Beaudions have lived in Sioux Falls for almost 15 years and have two young daughters. They spoke of their “culture shock” after moving from Alexandria, Louisiana, to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They shared how they started their business with a food truck and continued to persevere as entrepreneurs. 

Julian is a state trooper and the vice president of the nonprofit Sustainable Connections. He is also running for the Northwestern District seat on the Sioux Falls City Council and hopes to make a difference in Sioux Falls on a political scale. Inkka was recently featured on the cover of the Sioux Falls Women magazine. Inkka remembers being shocked by their choice to feature her until she asked herself, “Why not you?” She said she is grateful to be recognized for her contributions to the community. 

The second interview was with Think 3D co-founder Vaney Hariri. Think 3D is a leadership building program that organizes speakers and workshops for both individuals and businesses. Hariri emphasized the importance of being the instigator, or the person in charge, of the institution. He laid out the SOIL process, which is a process of building knowledge. SOIL stands for Soak in information, Observe it, Implement it and Look back. Aside from being a business owner, Hariri is a musician and a member of several boards focusing on community service. 

Both interviews showcased successful members of Sioux Falls. There wasn’t much advertising on campus, however. BSU member Tsegab Arega hopes that next year they will promote the event to a larger audience. Arega was excited that the event “concentrated on celebrating local accomplishments” and was inspired by their achievements. 

The Black History Month event was an educational experience that featured driven community members who are making a difference in the Sioux Falls area.


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