The Invisible Vegan
The Invisible Vegan is a 90-minute independent documentary that explores the problem of unhealthy dietary patterns in the African-American community, foregrounding the health and wellness possibilities enabled by plant-based vegan diets and lifestyle choices. Over the past three decades, coronary heart disease and diabetes have steadily grown as the leading causes of health problems in America, disproportionately impacting the African-American community in particular. This documentary offers both historical and contemporary perspectives on the dietary trends among African-Americans, showing how intertwined histories of slavery, twentieth-century socioeconomic inequalities, and the rise of Big Food have led to the increased consumption and dependence of meat, processed junk, and fast food. Starring Jasmine Leyva, Cedric the Entertainer, John Salley, Stic of Dead Prez and Tracye McQuirter.
Guest panelists include Naijha Wright-Brown, Antonio Simpson, and Brenda Sanders.
Naijha is the co-owner The Land of Kush, a vegan soul food bistro in Baltimore. Through Naijha’s strategic marketing initiatives the restaurant experienced exponential growth within four years of opening. She develops relationships and collaborates with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and schools and churches who share in the mission of promoting dietary, ethical, or environmental veganism. Naijha is the Executive Director of the Black Veg Society of Maryland, and co-founder and organizer of the annual Vegan Soulfest and semi-annual Maryland Vegan Restaurant Week. She has spoken widely in Maryland and DC and has also been on radio and TV shows.
Antonio Simpson, the Vegan Mechanic, is a plant-based cook that specializes in veganizing many comfort foods to help raise awareness of the fact eating a vegan diet does not have to be all about salads. His goal is to set a good example of eating and making delicious foods and helping others transition.
Brenda Sanders is Executive Director of Afro-Vegan Society, Co-Founder of Thrive Baltimore Community Resource Center, and Co-Owner of The Greener Kitchen Vegan Deli. She also organizes large vegan events like Vegan SoulFest, the Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese Championship and the Vegan Street Fair. Brenda works to promote veganism as a solution to many of the issues currently faced by people in marginalized communities.
78-year-old, plant-powered ultra marathoner, world-record-setter, Betty Smith, PhD, will introduce the film.