On August 13, 2022, Black VegFest will hold a free outdoor festival focusing on Black liberation, animal welfare, healthier living, and a better planet. The event will be held at Commodore Barry Park, Brooklyn, New York, 12pm – 8pm and will include everything vegan – from food, performances, and free Dr. Bronner’s giveaways, to more than 40 Black and BIPOC vegan vendors.
As an organization, Black VegFest holds events that nurture and support new vegans and provides opportunities and new realities for veteran vegans. Founded by Omowale Adewale, who realized he was not reflected in mostly white vegan festivals and spaces, Black VegFest was born to address the need to elevate and provide a safe space for Black vegan artists, chefs, performers, organizers, and community.
What’s on at Black VegFest?
Celebrating its fifth year in Brooklyn, NYC, some of the highlights for this summer’s Black VegFest are the workshops and panel discussions. Led by some of the greatest vegan minds on the planet, one panel discussion to watch out for will be led by the 15-year-old Afro-Indigenous animal rights, climate, and environmental activist Genesis Butler. She will be a guest speaker addressing the climate crisis, going vegan, and why the youth need healthier food served in schools.
Recently named one of Harvard’s 10 climate creators to watch in 2022, Butler is one of the youngest people to give a TEDx speech (A 10 Year Old’s Vision for Healing the Planet). She’s also the founder of the non-profit Genesis for Animals and Youth Climate Save, which is a global youth movement with chapters in 26 countries.
Another workshop that may spark your interest will be led by the initiated spiritual shaman, Houiea LOVE. As a multidisciplinary artist and an indigenous practitioner of Shamanism, IFA and the Akashic Records, Houiea LOVE will lead a presentation titled “Breaking Generational Curses.”
The aim of this workshop is to share knowledge while potentially assisting attendees in starting the process of healing intergenerational trauma, especially around macro/micro aggressions, oppressive language, and how the Black community can respond to such.
Two additional features at Black VegFest are provided by some of the Black VegFest organizers. Be sure to keep an eye on the fresh produce from Liberation Farm, a Black vegan farm (created by Nadia Muy and Omowale Adewale) that cultivates Black culture, food, and community agriculture while offering workshops for Black people who want to learn how to farm.
Additionally, check out the headlining music performance by multi-talented artist MeccaGodZilla (a Brooklyn-based MC and United States Cultural Ambassador of Hip-Hop to Uzbekistan, Nepal, Niger, and Japan).
Why is Black VegFest important?
The punchline that separates Black VegFest from other vegan festivals is that it is an unapologetically Black vegan event that is not only about advocating for the animals but also for people of color. The event is held each year during Black August, which is an annual commemoration to the Black community to remember the determination, courage, strength, and honor of our Black freedom fighters (many of whom, in the 1970s, were 15 to 21-year-old youths) who fought oppressive systems and the entire government’s anti-Black and racist policies head on.
Black August is THAT reminder that regardless of how dismissive American media and propaganda seems at times of our Black community, Black lives actually matter. Especially when we talk about the countless contributions the Black community has made to the lives of United States citizens (and beyond) via science, medicine, education, entertainment, music, the arts, food, masonry, literature, etc.
Organized by the NYC-based team of Omowale Adewale, Nadia Muy, Francis Pena, LoriKim Alexander, and MeccaGodZilla, it is important to note that Black VegFest is not anti any other group. Being unapologetically Black is not and should not be a threat to other communities.
This summer, we are excited to welcome South Korean vendors Bad Carrot and Silver Factory, Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association, and countless attendees who do not personally identify as Black or BIPOC.
Black joy, power, and peace
Our safe space for Black love, Black joy, Black fun, Black food, Black entertainment, Black art, Black healing, and Black camaraderie is a positive vibe that creates a safe space for all groups to attend, learn, and enjoy the experience.
In my humble opinion, Black joy in a safe space is nothing short of inspiring and magical and the world knows it – I don’t even think that is arguable.
As an organizer of Black VegFest I acknowledge the tough socio-economic, environmental, and health issues my community faces while my team powerfully takes action to correct as many of those things as we can.
My hope is that other groups, particularly the white people of America, do the same to correct their own communities for its ills, particularly in the arena of racism. So that one day, social literacy, justice, safety, and equality in the United States are no longer buzzwords that get thrown around in high school social studies courses, but are an actual reality that allows Black people to truly have a safe space to thrive in.
For Black VegFest tickets and more info visit: https://blackvegfest.org/