By Ari Pliskin
I just returned from my fourth One World Everybody Eats Summit, which took place in Denver, CO over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. It was an inspiring event that brought together leaders from around the nation who are planning or running pay-what-you-can cafes. We visited the SAME Cafe in Denver and SEEDS Cafe in Colorado Springs. One World and Unity Tables announced their partnership last year at the summit and I was excited by the deepening of that partnership this year. Here are some highlights:
Unity Tables’ participation:
- Unity Tables Attendees: Three leaders from the Port Cafe in Cambridge, MA (Cleola Kiva, Tracy Bindel and Erin Taylor) and two leaders from Soul Mind Vibe in Orange County, CA (Jorrel Batac and Kelsey Cruz) attended the summit for the first time. Both cafes are graduates from the Unity Tables’ Incubator program.
- Hosting: Ari MCed the summit, contributing toward a spirit of mindfulness and vulnerability at the event.
- Documentary: Justinian Innit debuted a version of his documentary on the community cafe movement, including testimonials from Ari and Alex about their experience at the Stone Soup Cafe.
- Unity Tables Presentation: Alex and Ari presented to the community on Unity Tables’ services with testimonials from Incubator graduates.
- Soul Mind Vibe Presentation: Jorrel Batac from Soul Mind Vibe also presented, sharing videos of his innovative, artistic pop-up cafes.
- Pre-registration: We collected five forms from cafes interested in UT services.
- Conclusion: Cleola Kiva and Erin Taylor of Port Cafe contributed to the summit conclusion, honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day by sharing a quote and moment of silence and explaining how their Black Lives Matter activism brought them to the Port Cafe.
- Media: Contributed an article to Colorado Yoga + Life magazine.
Opportunities for the future:
- Advisors/Presenters: Continue to benefit from advice of Chris May on Unity Tables Advisory Board. Recruit community cafe elders (from OWEE Board and exemplary cafes) to serve on Advisory Board and/or as guest presenters on Unity Tables webinars.
- 2016 Incubator: We want to recruit 5-8 cafe leaders for our next Incubator cohort, building a strong community of practice for 2016. Are you one of them?
- One World Everybody Eats: Deepen coordination with One World board through quarterly phone meetings.
- Global Event: Explore possible international community cafe event associated with World Food Day in October. Possible elements: collaborate with other social enterprises addressing hunger, Jorrel’s event production skills, Justinian’s documentary. Invite community cafe celebrity friends? Jeff Bridges and Jon Bon Jovi?
Jorrel from Soul Mind Vibe made this cool video highlighting our trip to Seeds Cafe in Colorado Springs: