Moving from New York City to Dallas, Texas, in 2016 presented me with unique challenges. With my passion for creating inclusive spaces for BIPOC individuals, transitioning to a focus on veganism brought its own set of hurdles, particularly grappling with imposter syndrome as a nonnative Texan.

Through organizing events with Veggie Mijas and fostering community connections, I made a conscious effort to elevate the voices and experiences of BIPOC Texans. Prioritizing their stories, businesses, and passions enabled me to honor the community’s presence before me while providing a platform for them to share their expertise within the vegan movement. This emphasis on representation enriched the community by celebrating its diversity and authenticity.

As I immersed myself in the Texas culture, I grew alongside the community I was cultivating. Engaging in conversations, collaborations, and shared experiences deepened my understanding of the Texas identity. This journey of cultural exchange helped lessen my imposter syndrome and solidified my sense of belonging.

Now, eight years later, with Texas Eats Green, I continue advocating for inclusivity and accessibility in the plant-based movement. Supported by my community, especially a team of remarkable womxn of color, I’m making strides in bringing plant-based options to BIPOC communities that typically lack access to fresh and healthy foods.

Navigating imposter syndrome taught me that community building is about listening and responding to community needs. It’s essential to step back, listen, and understand what the community truly wants and needs before initiating change. By prioritizing community input, we can create meaningful and lasting impact together.

About Texas Eats Green

Texas Eats Green is an initiative with a two-fold mission. Firstly, we are dedicated to advocating for plant-based options in restaurants in BIPOC communities across the four major cities of Texas: Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.

Our primary goal is to encourage local businesses not only to add vegan options to their menus but also to commit to keeping them available year-round, thereby enhancing accessibility to veg-friendly and healthy choices for community members. All marketing services are free of charge for local restaurants, as we recognize the significance of supporting these businesses in promoting their new vegan-friendly menus.

Secondly, we aim to reduce animal suffering by decreasing the use of animal products. By actively encouraging restaurants to explore and integrate plant-based cuisine, we hope to foster a more sustainable and health-oriented culinary landscape in Texas.

BIPOC Flea Market

Event Hosted with Veggie Mijas

Mercy For Animals is proud to support Texas Eats Green and its critical work as a People’s Fund grantee, and we are grateful for Destiny’s partnership in our mission to end industrial animal agriculture by constructing a just and sustainable food system.

*This article was written by a grantee of The People’s Fund and reflects their original thoughts and perspective. Please direct any questions or impressions of their work to their online platforms.