If you’re online right now you know what’s going on. If you’re looking away because it’s upsetting or echoing the sentiment that riots are not the answer, I’m going to tell you something you likely won’t want to hear. You are part of the larger issue at hand and you are privileged.
I myself have been silent in the past because I run a food business, I didn’t want to “get political”, or face any backlash or hate. I had a laundry list of what I thought were justifiable excuses for not looking at the news, tweeting about #BlackLivesMatter or standing up to racial inequality. But this isn’t about me. The momentum to rise up that has come from George Floyd’s tragic murder by police brutality can’t be ignored and I can’t be silent. This week I’m not posting new content or recipes in solidarity with the #AmplifyMelanatedVoices campaign created by Alishia McCullough and Jessica Wilson. A lot of my fellow creators are following suit and if you aren’t… please look into the movement.
This movement isn’t only about muting the regularly scheduled social media programs in solidarity, but to also mute white noise, use my platforms to share content by BIPOC, to follow new voices and creators who are non-white, to listen to BIPOC who are speaking directly from lived experiences, and use this time to reflect on the part we each play in either dismantling or upholding the systems built on racism.
Author Scott Woods says, “racism is an insidious cultural disease” and this is fact. Please read his essay here and reflect on the ways this disease has infected your waking life. The few links I’ve provided are just a small step to get you started. This learning or unlearning doesn’t end after reading a few social media posts. When you know better, you have to do better. This is about human rights and justice and we each have a part to play in making big change.
Since this is a food blog I want to share some Black vegan creators and businesses in the space that you can start following and listening to. This was inspired by the list VegNews published and I also shared this on instagram already, however I’ve included others that have been recommended since I made that post. There is a lot of whiteness in the vegan / wellness space (ALL spaces, really). Just check your feed! Make a conscious effort to support communities of BIPOC and don’t just listen to people who are like you. How will you ever grow? Support these creators, business owners, and organizations not just with a follow but actively engage. Here is another list of resources and ways you can get into action right now.
Creators & Foodies
Y’all tagged A LOT of other accounts in the comments of my IG post so just go over there and then you can click and follow them all!
Donny Oberoi of Vegan As Fvck
Vegan Social Justice Organizations
Food Love by Might Be Vegan – Founder, Kimberly Barnes – This program specifically focuses on families in the Black, Brown, and low-income communities who are experiencing food insecurity, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, and accounts for those not currently being served by food banks because of a lack of transportation or identification. The program is across the USA and you can help by donating to the GoFundMe here which goes directly to food costs. Recently Kimberly also asked for volunteers and chefs to help with efforts that will be supporting the protests in Los Angeles and other States. Please follow her on IG for updates. Here are other ways to support the organization and if you have ways you can help by volunteering email them here.
Afro-Vegan Society – Founder, Brenda Sanders – This non-profit organization works to provide resources and support to help people in marginalized communities transition to vegan living. There are recipes, meal plans, restaurant guides, workshops and events on the website and you can also donate here.
Food Empowerment Project – Founder Lauren Ornelas – This non-profit works to prevent injustices against people, the environment and animals by encouraging healthy food choices that reflect a more compassionate society and spotlighting the abuse of animals on farms, the depletion of natural resources, unfair working conditions for produce workers, and the unavailability of healthy foods in low-income areas. Spend some time on the website to learn more about their initiatives and here is the donation page.
Lettuce Feast – Founder, Eva Cannon – This girl makes THE BEST vegan fried chicken I’ve ever had! Find the food truck in LA by following the IG page and you can read an inspiring interview with Eva here. Eva also has a sick cookbook called Lettuce Feast you can order here.
Trio Plant Based – Owner, Louis Hunter – This is one of the only black-owned vegan restaurants in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is currently closed due to the protests in the area and but you help them out by visiting this page and donating or purchasing gift cards.
Slutty Vegan – Owner, Pinky Cole – This popular food truck is in Atlanta where protests have been going strong. Before recent events and in the wake of the COVID pandemic, Pinky donated over 150 meals to healthcare workers at Northside Hospital and seniors at Baptist Gardens senior living facility. Sadly, I didn’t fit this place into my food tour of ATL when I was there last year but I vow to make it back some day.
First Batch Artisan Foods – Owner, Dymetra Pernell – I did get to eat vegan ice cream from this little shop when I was in Atlanta and it is THE BEST scoopable vegan ice cream I’ve ever had! Right now Dymetra is making weekly Vegan Meals for pickup around Atlanta so follow her on IG for upcoming dates and menus.
The Southern V – Owners, Tiffany and Clifton Hancock – I haven’t been here but I sure wish I could order it to LA! The Southern V is in Nashville and the food looks damn good. It’s straight up comfort food like loaded jackfruit nachos and chick’ biscuit with mushroom gravy. If you live in Nashville go support!
Simply Pure Vegan – Owner, Stacey Dougan – This one is top of my list if I can ever get back to Las Vegas again… dang pandemic. And I better plan to get there early because I’ve heard the lines are long!
If you want you can leave comments below with other resources, creators, organizations etc. Thanks for listening!