Personality: Adriea Clarke | Richmond Free Press

Adriea Clarke is the founder of an event that seeks to bridge the gap between the public and veganism and provide African Americans with a space to share and to show the curious, especially people of color, an entry point. in the way of life.

The event, Soul Vegan Block Party, will take place from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 11 at Chimborazo Park, 3215 E. Broad St. And Ms. Clarke is more optimistic than ever in her mission to introduce a plant- style to life based on fun and upliftment.

“Soul Vegan aims to serve as a reminder that food is part of culture and that there is always soul in plant-based diets,” Ms. Clarke said.

More than 70 vendors are expected, including food vendors, speakers, a cooking demonstration, a hip-hop cardio class, music, and people selling a range of crafts and other goods.

Ms Clarke says she hopes the event will help dispel some of the stereotypes surrounding veganism, including that it is “for a specific demographic; they’re all hippies; they are sickly and frail; they hate anyone who is not a vegan; they only eat salads; and that they are concerned about protein.

Apart from some stereotypes, she says she hopes the event will help educate people “on returning to more ancestral diets.”

“While this (ancestral) way of eating is not completely devoid of meat, it focuses more on whole plant-based foods – fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds,” says Ms. Clarke, “and it can be. the start of a healthier lifestyle.

While the Soul Vegan Block Party began in December 2018, Ms. Clarke’s path to veganism began years earlier. Following health issues, she sought out holistic methods to improve her health, eventually going vegan in February 2016 after seeing positive change through her new food choices.

However, Ms Clarke also became aware of the lack of diversity in these spaces and ultimately decided to change the stereotypical image of veganism and open up the way of life to everyone.

“I have visited several vegan festivals, but at some I noticed that there weren’t a lot of black attendees and vendors and decided that there was no reason for it. there isn’t.

The Soul Vegan Block Party has grown every year since its 54 original vendors and some 2,500 attendees.

“While the vegan scene is growing and expanding rapidly nationally, at the community level there is still confusion and hesitation about what it is and how it can be done,” says Clarke. . “This event shows that being vegan can be fun, delicious and accessible.”

Meet a supporter of healthy eating through veganism and this week’s personality Adriea Clarke:

1st volunteer position: Founder, Soul Vegan Block Party.

Date and place of birth: January 17 in Richmond.

Where I live now: Richmond.

Education: I was homeschooled for high school and attended Reynolds Community College for a few years. I then went to the Bon Secours School of Medical Imaging for Radiation Sciences, and then graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Averett University.

Occupation: I am a traveling radiology and computed tomography technologist. I travel to facilities across the country with Arizona being the furthest state from Virginia where I have accepted a contract.

Family: Parents and younger sister.

Soul Vegan Block Party is: An event to showcase and promote a herbal lifestyle in a positive environment with a focus on uplifting communities of color.

When it started: December 2018.

Where I got the idea: After traveling to Arizona, my employment contract was canceled and I came home. As I was trying to fall asleep, I got the idea of ​​having a vegan festival focused on the African American community. I have visited several vegan festivals but to some I noticed that there weren’t a lot of black attendees and vendors and decided there was no reason why they weren’t. there isn’t.

Why it’s needed in Richmond: While the vegan scene is growing and expanding rapidly nationally, at the community level there is still confusion and hesitation about what it is and how it can be done. This event shows that being vegan can be fun, delicious and accessible; that meals can be more than salads; and that there is a community of black vegans or curious-vegans, so no one has to walk this trip alone. Hopefully, people will also come away better informed on how to incorporate more plant-based foods into their daily routines. Eating less meat can have an extremely positive impact on health.

A vegan is: A person who does not consume any animal product or its by-products and who also does not use / wear any animal products. This means that a vegan does not consume meat, poultry, seafood, gelatin, dairy products, eggs, or honey. They would also not wear items containing animal skins, such as leather, or use products containing animal milk or beeswax.

A vegetarian is: A person who does not consume any animal products but who can still consume dairy products and / or eggs. There are many variations of vegetarianism, but vegans do it better.

I chose a vegan lifestyle because: From a health concern. I had a cyst on my ovary, which I had surgically removed. During a follow-up appointment, a fibroid was found. I was determined to be out of surgery, so I started looking for holistic ways to stop it growing or at least slow it down. I came across a website that explained how a vegan lifestyle can shrink fibroids. I decided to try it for six months, which was also around the time for another follow-up appointment. It had started to shrink so I got into the lifestyle.

I have been a vegan since: February 2016.

Three easy ways to go vegan: 1. Eat one meal at a time. Find something you can replace. 2. Follow the vegan creators on social media / YouTube. 3. Give yourself grace and forgive yourself often. Mistakes happen, and so does giving in to urges. However, the key isn’t to just sit there and make a plan so you don’t feel trapped or tempted. I used to bring a plate to Thanksgiving dinner or the barbecue. Now they tell me what they’re going to have for me and make a special space on the grill for my Beyond Sausage. Soul Vegan aims to be a reminder that food is part of culture and that there is always soul in plant-based nutrition.

How I start the day: With a prayer of gratitude, meditation and 16 ounces of water after a “shot” of spirulina and chlorophyll. If I have foam, I also take a spoonful.

Three words that best describe me: About the company, funny and passionate.

Best late night snack: A spoonful of peanut butter with chocolate chips (yes, there are vegan chocolate chips) or dried chili mango slices.

Favorite vegan meal: If we’re talking homemade, a baked sweet potato loaded with seasoned black beans, kale, corn, grape tomatoes, and guacamole. Curried chickpeas and rice come just behind. If you dine out, have pizza or Mexican food.

Favorite vegan chef: Honestly, I don’t have a favorite vegan chef because I’m not a fan of cooking. However, @ brown-vegan, @damgoodvegan, @ sweetpotatosoul, and @chefkeva have some recipes that are suitable for beginners and use ingredients that I can easily buy or already own. (Let me tell you, once you’re past a few months, you’ll still have beans, a few cans of coconut milk, and a whole new row of spices.)

How I relax: Listen to audiobooks and watch YouTube videos on RV renovations and decluttering.

What I am learning about myself during the pandemic: That I need to practice patience and acceptance more. Everything will not turn out when and how I want it to.

Something I love to do that most people would never imagine: Listen to mysterious murder podcasts. I know a lot more about Ed Gein than I should.

Quote that inspires me the most: “You can’t be half right on a wrong answer. “

At the top of my “to-do” list: To make sure everything is in order for the big day but also to experience life a lot more.

The best thing my parents ever taught me: Tell the truth and pay me first.

Person who influenced me the most: My mother who can and who will find out how to do it. (She’s also a Capricorn, so that makes sense.)

Book that marked me the most: “People can’t drive you crazy if you don’t give them the keys” by Mike Bechtle.

What I’m reading now: “Defining the Limits, Finding Peace” by Nedra Glover Tawwab.

Next goal: I would love to be a traveling vegan designer. But honestly, I’m still figuring it all out.

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