NewsSummit Highlights Black Women's Impact in Food Industry

Summit Highlights Black Women’s Impact in Food Industry

The Black Women In Food Awards represent a chance for Black women to receive recognition in an industry that often doesn’t give them any.

As Forbes reports, the group announced their award nominees in March and honored the winners on April 4, but wanted to give the 31 honorees a chance to be celebrated by their peers in person. 

Nina Oduro, the co-founder of Dine Diaspora and Black Women in Food, told Forbes that she is most excited about the opportunities that the summit affords the attendees. “The summit is not only a place to network and learn,” Oduro said. “It’s a place where Black women across the food industry can forge connections and brainstorm solutions to overcome obstacles.” Oduro explained. 

She continued, “This year, we’ve introduced innovative components aimed at tackling the systemic issues of access to capital and market entry challenges faced by these women. Our new marketplace shines a spotlight on their food businesses, while the pitch competition, courtesy of the New Voices Foundation, offers a vital avenue for accessing capital—a hurdle that often looms largest on their path to expansion.”

According to Oduro, the BWIF Awards represent a chance for Black women to receive recognition in an industry that often doesn’t give them any. “From farms to kitchens and boardrooms to restaurants, Black women are making a tremendous impact across the food system,” Oduro said. “[These Awards] not only celebrate their exemplary accomplishments, but amplify their contributions – an opportunity that is seldom afforded to them.”

“The food industry around the world is entrenched with racism and sexism that manifests in different ways. By centering Black women’s contributions to the global food system, we are combating narratives that seek to diminish their historic, current and future impact.” The pair said. “Black women in the industry around the world need to see their efforts recognized and amplified as they continue to shape the way food is experienced at all levels of society.”

The summit, taking place at the Eaton Hotel in D.C., will be hosted by Chef Vicky V, a Houston based Chef consultant, influencer, and media producer. The Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appetit and Epicurious, Jamila Robinson, will serve as the keynote speaker at the event. Robinson’s path to and through the food industry pairs well with the mission of Black Women in Food.

Robinson continued, “That also means re-examining investments and partnerships. Think about how women and people of color do not have access to the same capital. If you’re an investor, try to think about how to bring in new restaurants. Look around the room, see who’s not there and examine those silences and those absent folks. How can you bring more people in and invest in communities? As we’re thinking about how to build up neighborhoods and communities, maybe those investments can also go to chefs and women of color.”

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Source: Black Enterprise


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