Photo: Raymond McCrea Jones, New York Times
On February 15 Slutty Vegan did a popup in Durham and in Miami on February 23. The now-famous, plant based restaurant has been touring across the country and with each stop, helping people reimagine what veganism tastes like. As part of its 50-city pop-up tour, the company is also registering people to vote: a commendable show of corporate social responsibility. The company is doing the voter registration drive through the Pinky Cole Foundation, which launched in 2019.
It’s not uncommon for lines at Slutty Vegan to wrap around the block; that phenomenon helped to put the business on the map, in fact. Owner Pinky Cole has made the brilliant decision to use those lines to further democracy. Customers have shown a willingness to wait in line for vegan goodness, so why not engage them during that time? The effort truly matters: Black voter turnout dropped 7 percentage points in 2016 from a record high during the 2012 election cycle, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. As We Buy Black pointed out previously this week, Black entrepreneurship needs the protection of just public policy and that requires Black participation, for the purpose of furthering Black interests.
Other cities on the tour include Charlotte, Charleston, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. At each stop, customers are sure to fall in love with the flavor and hopefully, many will find a new love for the ballot. Slutty Vegan is proving that Black entrepreneurs can have it all: success and positive contributions to the community. Voter registration is one way to give back and make a difference but there a number of other ways: you just need one. No entrepreneur can do it all, nor should they try. Giving back in business is simply a matter of finding an opportunity to do good and making a move to do it.