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An Open Letter to the James Beard Foundation

To  Clare Reichenbach and members of the James Beard Foundation,

I would like to take this opportunity to show my appreciation for your public stance, in regards to the Black Lives Matter movement.

I am a small business owner and culinary student, who happens to be Black and a woman. All too often, I have observed and been subjected to the inequalities and disparities  stemming from racism and sexism, within the restaurant/catering industry and elsewhere.

To ignore, dismiss, or remain silent in regards to the aforementioned disparities, taking place within our community would be a far greater tragedy within itself.

I truly believe your public stance was a very transparent and vulnerable beginning to a much larger and necessary conversation.

One of the hardest things for humans to do is self reflect. Taking an introspective look at our shortcomings, ignorance, and fears can be a jarring experience. Yet, in those moments we find opportunities to be honest. In those moments we allow ourselves to decide if the person we see inside is willing to be uncomfortable for change.

Yes, change is scary and most often, uncomfortable to embrace. However, ignoring the need for change is the exact reason the world is currently on fire.

If not for yourself, be the catalyst for change for your black colleagues and friends you claim to love and support.

I am more than willing to lend my voice, thoughts, and ideas on diversity and inclusion to discussions moving forward with the James Beard Foundation. This goes beyond reading books, blogs, and watching youtube videos to understand a culture. It requires real conversations, empathy, and listening.

Change will not happen overnight, as the underlying roots of systemic racism and oppression are centuries deep in American soil; but change can happen.

Thank you again for your public stance and I look forward to continuing the conversation.

Humbly submitted,

Megan Fowlkes

Oh So Cupcakes By Megz LLC.

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