This past Saturday was Earth Day, and I felt honored to be invited to talk about my veganism at a local celebration hosted by Vegan Refocused, a staple food vendor at Baltimore and DC-area veg fests! Jerel, owner of Vegan Refocused, pulled together a great selection of individuals to share their stories about veganism while he and his crew prepared delicious vegan eats, including mac and cheese (voted best in the City at the 2016 Mac ‘n Cheese Smackdown!), chicken nuggets, and shrimp.
The event was held at the Impact Hub in Baltimore and featured 6 speakers—but the best part was that only 3 were vegans, while the other 3 were there to talk about their recent experiences during a 7-day vegan challenge. Similarly, the crowd, to my surprise, was also largely non-veg. It is so encouraging to see folks interested in veganism and wanting to know more! What a great opportunity it was to offer amazing food and a chance for people to come ask questions!
The speakers included:
Honour Drew. Honour talked about her experience as a non-vegan during a 7-day challenge this year and her charisma kept the crowd engaged.
Charmaine Aolani Love. Charmaine was a multi-tasking champ on Saturday! Not only was she up there talking to the crowd, she was helping to prepare and serve the food!
Nikia Vaughan. Nikia also participated in the recent 7-day challenge and has since been promoting veganism through various channels. Including her non-profit, Cimone & Friends, which helps raise awareness for and fight Sickle Cell on behalf of her daughter, Cimone.
Ciarra Smith. Ciarra came and shared a lovely story about her veganism and current enterprise with a Vegan Bakery in DC (Sweet Plant Eats)! I think we were all bummed when we didn’t get to try some of her baked goods, but we’re looking forward to future opportunities!
And somewhere in that amazing line-up, I managed to squeeze in. I feel like the others really provided value where I couldn’t, especially the non-vegans who could talk about what surprised them and what they did and did not like about their recent experience.
All-in-all, it was a great experience and I look forward to future Vegan Refocused events!