“Truly something for everyone,” is how Brenda Sanders, president of the Afro-Vegan Society, sees in this Saturday’s National AfroVegan *Virtual* Conference. “From the 20-year vegan to the vegan-curious,” everyone can get something out of it.
Sanders, a member of the American Vegan Society speakers bureau, launched the Afro-Vegan Society in 2017. It provides resources and support to help people in marginalized communities transition to vegan living.
For the first few years the organization focused on in-person activism and events at the community level, she says. “But since the pandemic we’ve been doing more online,” which has resulted in raising the Society’s national profile. This weekend’s conference is a big part of that: “We want to see folks uplifted,” Sanders says. Participants can expect to encounter “vegans speaking to specific issues and barriers that get in the way of transitioning to vegan, helping to make this way of living accessible to everyone.”
Tracye McQuirter, author of By Any Greens Necessary, will deliver a keynote address. Other highlights of the day include a talk on the vegan environmental connection by Sanders herself, a doctors’ panel on medical benefits of plant-based eating (Milton Mills, Baxter Montgomery, Celeste Palmer), cooking demos covering a variety of vegan foods, and a panel on how to help one’s family transition to vegan eating. There’s also a panel of vegan activists discussing “what it’s like for folks who have been vegan and want to get active,” to “lay the groundwork for whatever vegan activism [you] want to do.”
With African Americans in the US shifting to vegan eating twice as fast the general population, it’s no surprise that the Afro-Vegan Society is gaining wider interest. Sanders encourages people from all walks of life to attend (registration is free, but you need to RSVP). Thanks to this type of platform we’re using,” she noted, “participation is unlimited, so no one should think ‘I don’t want to take a spot from someone else.'” So whoever you are, wherever you are, come on out — virtually!