Restaurateur Pinky Cole of Slutty Vegan, music producer Jermaine Dupri, and the Pinky Cole Foundation are teaming up with Impossible Foods for a unique voter registration drive.
Beginning Tuesday, the group will host a series of six virtual events culminating with a celebration of participation and action in November’s presidential election. The series titled “Votenik Zoom to the Polls” is a twist on the annually celebrated spring break festival in Atlanta known as Freaknik.
Cole, the entrepreneur behind Slutty Vegan, an Atlanta-area restaurant and food truck phenomenon, said the initiative is designed to encourage voter turnout through conversation and food.
“I’m passionate about voting rights, social justice, and delicious food—and this is an incredible opportunity to combine all three things,” Cole, a former television producer who helped foment the burgeoning Black vegan movement, said. “In every election cycle, there’s a lot of attention on who voted and why, but a more critical question is, ‘Who is not voting — and what impact does that have?’ VoteNik is designed to encourage voter turnout and propel larger digital conversation about the voting process.”
Each Votenik Zoom to the Polls virtual event will feature a noteworthy host from a community group or civic and social organization. The first event will feature Dr. Lakeysha Hallmon, a transformational leader, speaker, and founder of the Village Market ATL.
On Sept. 29, the event will feature Eunique Jones Gibson, founder of Because of Them We Can, a multimedia platform that amplifies positive Black news.
The hosts will lead the event and discussion topics related to the election and what issues are important to those committed to rocking the vote.
The virtual events scheduled for Oct. 6 and 13 will feature Birmingham, Alabama, Mayor Randall L. Woodfin and Chaka Zulu, Co-CEO of Disturbing Tha Peace Records and Ebony Son Entertainment Inc., who helped launched music careers for artists including T.I., Ludacris, 2 Chainz, Travis Scott, and Iggy Azalea.
Slutty Vegan and Impossible Foods partnered earlier this year to serve Impossible Burgers to frontline workers and first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the Votenik Zoom to the Polls virtual events, Impossible Foods will also sponsor additional physical events related to voter registration.