This week, the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) announced its partnership with the Pinky Cole Foundation (a nonprofit founded by Pinky Cole, owner of popular business Slutty Vegan) which will result in providing formerly incarcerated youth with education and job opportunities. The Pinky Cole Foundation has pledged to provide employment, paid training, and a ServSafe certification for up to 30 current or former DJJ youth at Slutty Vegan businesses in the metro Atlanta area. The foundation will also provide $10,000 annually in scholarships for youth who Slutty Vegan hires who have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to go toward their pursuit of higher education.
“I am excited about this new partnership that will strengthen our efforts to provide job-related services for our youth once released from our custody,” DJJ Commissioner Tyrone Oliver said. “The Pinky Cole Foundation is giving these young people a better opportunity to succeed in life and be productive workers in their community.”
In August 2018, Cole opened the first Slutty Vegan truck in Atlanta, serving provocatively named vegan burgers to a crowd of 500 hungry guests. Cole opened the first brick-and-mortar Slutty Vegan location in Atlanta in January—attracting 1,200 customers on opening day. Last month, Cole expanded the business to a second location in Jonesboro, where 1,000 customers were served on opening day.
“Being able to partner with the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice to help kids in our community is what we are about at Slutty Vegan and the Pinky Cole Foundation,” Cole said. “I am thankful for the leadership of Commissioner Oliver for thinking outside of the box to ensure Georgia youth are given the tools necessary to thrive. We are excited about this partnership.”
Through her foundation, Cole has supported a number of initiatives to help communities of color, including helping pay the tuition balances of 30 Clark Atlanta University (CAU) students last year in an effort to help them stay in school; feeding essential workers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; and partnering with CAU (her alma mater) to fund college scholarships for the four children left fatherless after the death of Rayshard Brooks—a Black man killed by police in an Atlanta Wendy’s parking lot in June.