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Posted under: News

James Beard Foundation To Provide $15K Grants To BIPOC Food And Beverage Business Owners

The deadline to apply for the grant is Jan. 22.

The James Beard Foundation announced on Monday that its food and beverage investment fund is now accepting applications for the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans.

The new grant initiative will provide 18 grants for $15,000 to majority-owned Black and Indigenous food and beverage businesses, according to its website. The program is a part of the organization’s bigger initiative Open For Good Campaign that launched last year. Its goal was simple– to help the independent restaurant industry be in a better financial position after the pandemic

“The new fund is part of the foundation’s ongoing commitment to continually lift up the Black and Indigenous business owners in its industry, not just in light of the pandemic, but for good,” said Colleen Vincent, the vice president of Community at the James Beard Foundation. 

“Financial resource is that much more impactful when coupled with support from organizations and experts who make themselves available to provide guidance on professional skills like marketing, structuring business plans and negotiating contracts,” she continued. “The foundation is creating new partnerships to deliver this value to its grant recipients in an effort to see these businesses thrive for the long term.”

The fund plans to distribute the monetary awards equally across Black and Indigenous groups throughout the country, according to the site. Considering the latest census data, the organization has divided the country into six regions, with each containing 16 to 17 percent of the total Black and Indigenous population. The process allows everyone to have equal access to funding.

An NPR report indicated a major disparity in fine-dining restaurants existed between higher-paid white staff members, who typically work in the establishment’s public segment. At the same time, Black, Indigenous and people of color, or BIPOC, earned lower wages and typically worked jobs like cooks, dishwashers and other behind-the-scenes positions.

The article also explained that a pay gap between white men and all women existed as well. On average, the men earned a quarter more than their female counterparts.

The foundation understands and acknowledges these disparities and is intent on changing the status quo.

“BIPOC in the United States face systemic barriers and racial inequities that prevent many from moving into positions of leadership and/or ownership in the food and beverage industry,” the website reads. “America’s Black and Indigenous communities, in particular, have faced oppression for centuries, and were foundational groups upon which American systemic racism was designed.”

The deadline to apply for the grant is Jan. 22.

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Keka Araújo is Detroit's daughter, a cross between Claire Huxtable, Rosie Pérez and Millie Jackson, the Editor in Chief of “Negra With Tumbao” and a published journalist with a penchant for luxe goods. She has been known to shake what her mama gave her, is the hell and high water, an expert salsera and is and forever shall be- unapologetically black.