Black VegFest expects 5,000 people to attend its second annual vegan festival from August 10 to 11 at the Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn, NY. More than 2,000 people attended the outdoor festival last year during one of the biggest summer storms of 2018. Founder Omowale Adewale created the event as a hub for vegan food, health-focused workshops, and lectures that span intersectional topics related to Black culture, veganism, social justice, and mental health. This year, Black VegFest will feature food from Greedi Vegan, Sol Sips, B.A.D. Gyal Vegan, Ital Kitchen, Sabrosa Vegana, and more. Speakers include vegan doctor Milton Mills, MD, author and activist Tracye McQuirter, and Jasmine Leyva—who co-produced documentary The Invisible Vegan. Panelists Khnum Muata Ibomu (known by his stage name “Stic” of legendary hip-hop group Dead Prez) and musician Grey (the rapper behind the viral “Vegan Thanksgiving” song) will speak about misogyny, fatherhood, masculinity, and mental illness. Activities include yoga, fitness competitions, double-dutch, and chess. In keeping with the wellness theme of Black VegFest, Adewale turned down a sponsorship offer from a multi-billion dollar soda company. “The more you embrace integrity, the more alone and poorer you’ll feel. It’s not easy,” Adewale said. “But, how am I going to champion healthy consumption while accepting money from a company responsible for diabetes in my community?” This year’s event is organized in association with vegan Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams who has made strides in promoting plant-based living through a number of initiatives. In April, Adewale brought a similar event to the Bronx borough to give residents access to plant-based food and wellness information in a region that lacks healthy options.
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