THOUGHTS N FEELINGS

Out of an Action Call for Community, Sharing A Bite for Peace

I had just sat down at ilcaffe, one of my most frequented coffee shop and de facto office, when Natalia approached me. A local restaurant owner and neighbor, Natalia was feeling particularly broken down by all the racially fueled violence escalating in our country of late. As a black Brazilian emigrant to the United States, she described the years of assumptions made about her, the ways she's been ostracized by both blacks and whites who have otherized her, and the pain she feels for those who have been subjected to even worse treatment. Natalia felt that she needed to take action in her own way, and decided to host a community dinner and discussion. Transforming her restaurant, Wood Spoon, into a safe space for unfiltered conversation, she brought people from all walks of life together, using her amazing food as a common equalizer. The dinner became a launching point for a wider vision she has, called A Bite for Peace, where different swaths of humanity can intersect and speak honestly to each other at communal dinner tables. A hashtag for the event, and the idea at large, can be found here. Natalia is now seeking broader partnerships to make this happen. If you have a space, an idea, or something you can donate to the cause, I invite you to email me here.

- Ari Simon