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During a thunderstorm on Saturday August 11th Black VegFest managed to wrangle up scores of vegan vendors and over two dozen speakers. More poignantly, an estimated 2,000 people entered 2-3 hours later after the worst of the storm and stayed with us. We were happy and grateful that we were successful, but even more so that marginalized community represented over 65% of the attendees. Black people are driving up vegan numbers!
Black VegFest came at a time when veganism has begun to burst out of the seams from popular films, athletes and hospitals embracing a plant-based lifestyle. It's also a time of re-emerging blackness at a scary and complex time for black people. Black VegFest is about consciously supporting black people in every shape and form and using our voices to defend the voiceless animals!
We asked attendees what was an important takeaway lesson at our first Black VegFest:
That us Black vegans are out here!!!!!!!!! Doing our thing!!!! -Kez
That our people can actually come together over veganism -Alicia
The support and need for more black owned vegan/vegetarian stores -Raenica
Plant based diet helps reverse disease -Keisha
The voices of those from historically oppressed groups have so much of value to share. -Susan
Seeing all of the young adults who have embraced eating healthier so we can strengthen & heal our community. -Adrianne
It was so beautiful to see black people come out and enjoy this event. Despite the rain, everyone showed up and showed out! That's beautiful. I look forward to next year being bigger and better. -Danni
I loved it. People were so friendly and warm. -Susan
Even though it rained for most of it, the [Black VegFest] was great and I'm glad I participated. -Darlene
I was very pleased with the event because of the variety of choices to look into. Tea, vegan foods, metaphysical items, clothing and cultural foods. -Raenica
It was dope. The presenters were on point, the vendors were beautiful and diverse, and everyone seemed genuinely happy to be there! 100 times better than the traditional "White" VegFest -Edie
Great first vegan event! -Andrea
Informative and Inspiring –Donald Peebles
In spite of the rain, I was very pleased with the event because I live in PA in a %99 white community and do not have as much opportunity to be around as many progressive black folks at any one time. I was also very impressed with the creative output of all of the vendors. -Chenoa
So fantastic for the first time! Good job guys, definitely my favorite veg fest I've been to. It was actually focused on talking about the issues, had a real sense of community that I have not seen at other vegfests that just seem so commercialized. I LOVED that there was a free option, access is so important!! Even with the weather it was still fantastic! -Sam
Keep doing what you're doing!! The DC Vegans of Color group all had great things to say about it. -Danni
I loved it and thought it was great! -Katerina
Great food and performances/presentations- Christopher
A solid 9/10! The event was so great! Super well organized & it was really amazing seeing such a diverse group of people come together like this. -Krystal
I thought you all made it relevant to nonvegans which I was so happy to see -Rachel
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To see yourself is a wonderful feeling. It breeds hope, euphoria and positive vibrations to see another Black vegan. Black Vegfest is an event to nurture and support first year vegans and provide opportunities and new realities for veteran vegans.
Black Vegfest is also a homage to Black August. August is a month Black people dedicate to our freedom fighters and our collective fight against oppression: Marcus Mosiah Garvey was born August 17, 1887.
Intersectionality is addressing those causes and issues we have in common and are most passionate about. Like specieism, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, ableism, ageism, etc.
Be and come as you are. All are welcome at the Black Vegfest.
This event is about the animals. And, it's about the living.
Are you critical of how women of color are treated throughout the world and of how farm animals are mutilated to look like food? This is your Black Vegfest.
Expose yourself to how your clothing is made possible or how your accessories were made using animal exploitation.
Introduce your children to the criticisms of food and the calls and actions of JUST food.
Black Vegfest is about veganism and how we transition from old customs to new lifestyles with new information.
Black VegFest was started by Omowale Adewale an international speaker on veganism. Omowale saw a disconnect with seeing few Black and POC speakers. There was a lack of multi-cultural influences and not enough broad discussions around intersectionality.
Black VegFest is the vegfest that addresses cultural influences in our cuisine and the socio-economic and political issues that influence our lives as we advocate for JUST living for animals.
We want presentations by POC and women.
We want white vegans, especially those with significant platforms and resources to support POCs.
Local white vegans interested in the event should also request to present.