The talented entertainer also brings her nonprofits – She Ready Foundation and Diaspora Groceries – to the family festival
Actress and comedienne Tiffany Haddish is the celebrity chair for the 18th Annual Taste of Soul Family Festival, set for Saturday, October 21, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The largest block party on the West Coast takes place along Crenshaw Boulevard, from Obama Boulevard to Stocker Street.
And Haddish is not coming alone. She’s bringing along her nonprofits – She Ready Foundation and Diaspora Groceries – which focus on uplifting and empowering foster youth and Black-owned small businesses as well as promoting healthy foods.
“We’re excited to welcome Tiffany Haddish and her nonprofits to Taste of Soul. While everyone knows her as a world class entertainer, the founding of She Ready Foundation and Diaspora Groceries show that she hasn’t forgot her roots in the Black community,” said Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., TOS creator/founder.
“Tiffany’s organizations fit perfectly with the mission of Taste of Soul, which is all about caring for Black people and wanting the best for our community. She Ready Foundation and Diaspora Groceries will join more than 300 vendors in providing a range of resources and information to improve your life,” he said.
She Ready Foundation works to improve the lives of youth in the foster care system and Executive Director Dr. Thyonne Gordon shared that she and her team look forward to being at Taste of Soul to let visitors know more about the organization, which provides educational and emotional support as well as distributes more than 1,000 pieces of luggage each year to youth impacted by foster care.
“We are excited about Taste of Soul because it is a community event and our youth, volunteers and partners are all what grows a stronger more vibrant, community. Tiffany grew up in this community and continues to keep roots here,” Gordon said.
“At the She Ready booth, we will engage the community with conversations, asking questions specifically around foster care and we will challenge the community to get to know us better while we learn more about each individual. When a group of people with common ideas come together, it creates a great stage for allies to advocate for our youth,” she noted.
“And our She Ready Fellows (interns) will be there too,” added Gordan. “They love to give back and when they show up — anything’s possible!”
Diaspora Groceries boasts a similar mission of empowering community members by offering local, sustainable, healthy food; BIPOC products, and financial resources to small businesses, according to Executive Director Richea Jones.
Applications from prospective BIPOC suppliers are currently being accepted on the Diaspora Groceries website (www.DiasporaGroceries.com) and the nonprofit hopes to open their first location at the former Founder’s Bank on Martin Luther King Boulevard and Buckingham Road.
“Diaspora Groceries was established to build community across generations, races and ethnicities, gender expressions, and other identities that make us who we are. We recognize that our ancestors are the cornerstone of our community, and the youth are the future. As such, we prioritize our programming, services, and outreach to meet these needs specifically,” explained Jones.
“At our booth at Taste of Soul, we will be giving out fruit and vegetable seeds for people to increase food security, help people get started growing food, and give out some fun nutritional education tips utilizing food as medicine.”
Also, the organization partnered with Concern Citizens Community Involvement and Urban Comfort Foods to create the Umoja Food Collective, a collaborative of Black food entrepreneurs and Black-owned small businesses in South Los Angeles, Inglewood, and surrounding communities. The collective aims to build Black wealth, Black employment, and Black business ownership and reduce racial wealth gaps and health inequities among Black Angelenos.
“I’m a firm believer that once you understand how money works, once you understand how food works, you become a healthier, happier human being. And when you’re healthier and happier, the family’s healthier and happier, and the community’s healthier and happier,” said Haddish, who dubbed the name Diaspora Groceries to reflect the groups of people who have migrated from other places to the United States.
In addition to hundreds of vendors such as She Ready Foundation and Diaspora Groceries, TOS will feature popular attractions including the Bakewell Media “Music for the Soul” Soundstage, Brenda Marsh-Mitchell Gospel Stage, the Beer Garden operated by Mothers In Action, and Children’s World featuring games and activities for young people.
Sponsorship and vendor opportunities are still available. To learn more, visit tasteofsoulla.com.