It’s become clear over the last few months that the Atlanta restaurant industry and its diners are always looking into ways to step up and assist communities in need during a crisis. The recent protests against police brutality around Atlanta seem to be no exception.
Despite restaurants and bars trying to stay afloat amid the ongoing health crisis, many Atlanta-area establishments and their loyal regulars are still finding ways to help support protestors and the Black Lives Matter movement. From sharing links and donating to bail funds, to providing free food, water, supplies, and even hand sanitizer, here’s how restaurants and members of the community are lending support to protestors and social justice causes right now.
Know of restaurants, food producers, local farms, chefs, or other food-related businesses holding funding drives, organizing meals, or stepping up in other ways to assist protesters and social justice causes? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details.
Follow Where is the protest in Atlanta? on Twitter for updates on marches and events planned. Please remember to wear a mask.
Two dozen Georgia breweries participating in a fundraiser for social justice
24 breweries across the state are taking part in an international fundraiser for social justice called “Black is Beautiful,” launched by San Antonio brewery Weathered Souls Brewing Co. founded by head brewer Marcus Baskerville. Nearly 1,000 breweries around the U.S. and in 17 countries around the world have joined the effort to help raise money for organizations and causes surrounding social justice. Each participating brewery is asked to donate 100 percent of the proceeds from one of its beers to a local social justice organization or legal defense fund. For its part, Grant Park brewery Eventide Brewing is donating proceeds from a special release beer to the Georgia chapter of the ACLU. Read more about the initiative here.
Providing meals and supplies to protesters
Restaurants and bars around the city have been pitching in to provide free meals, water, and other supplies to protesters whenever possible. Sweet Auburn bar and restaurant Clues and Cocktails spent part of early June passing out water. Third Street Goods market in Grant Park continues to periodically offer free to-go vegan and non-vegan lunches for protesters headed to marches and rallies around the city. For organizers looking for more support, they’re asked to DM Third Street on Instagram. Old 4th Distillery sent out hundreds of bottles of its hand sanitizer to protest marches. Hodgepodge Coffeehouse in East Atlanta has been lending out its parking lot to those who wish to organize and make signs. The shop is also donating to bail funds and giving out free coffee to protesters, too.
Nourish in Black, an events and food storytelling company dedicated to raising social consciousness, has partnered with plant-based popup and catering org FreeFoodATL to help feed protesters and organizers. The initiative is looking for volunteers to pick up and distribute food to protesters as well as supporters to help purchase meals from Black-owned restaurants in Atlanta for distribution at protests. People should email email@example.com with the support and resources they’re interested in providing. The on-the-ground efforts will soon shift to offering more longterm services to the movement and the community, including connecting restaurants, chefs, and other Atlanta food producers with protest organizers and social justice nonprofits.
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Tell me what democracy looks like...THIS is what democracy looks like. @nourishinblack went out to #NourishthePeople and nourished the people they did. Fight hard, fight strong, fight with full hearts and minds...but keep fighting ✊ Posted @withregram • @nourishinblack Exhausted from getting rained on twice this week, but full. We went to three protests as a collective this past Saturday. After the 2nd gathering that afternoon was rained out by a random heavy storm, we found another protest at 12 in the morning to feed the people. The police were being the assholes they are, but 45 people were fed. We had salads created by @thinktableatl featuring produce from @Greenleafcommunityfarms, @puregoldendirt from @georgiaorganics reached out and got us 30 lbs of mushrooms, we bought some others from @patchworkcityfarms and Jerome used rye bread donated from @estoetnobaker to create the panzanella salad. In packaging purchased by Gabi the owner of @thesentimentalistatl! We had AMAZING snickerdoodles donated from @avegantastesbetter. We ordered popsicles from @mochapops and we had a donation of vegan samosas from @gotinjera. THIS IS OUR COMMUNITY! We are thankful! Thanks so much to @cartier.georgette and Mazie, @pru.hu and hubby all for volunteering on the ground, and for Meredith, @ldxlauren and Erin for picking up. Props to @itsme.que for organizing this resistance and having us out. #nourishthepeople#nourishinblackatl
Crowd-sourced lists featuring Atlanta’s Black-owned restaurants
These crowd-sourced lists featuring Atlanta’s Black-owned restaurants continue to grown on Instagram. The grassroots effort by both diners and restaurant industry members is meant to bring more attention to and support for Atlanta’s Black-owned restaurant scene. Lists feature restaurants ranging from beloved Atlanta institutions like Busy Bee Cafe and Paschal’s, to vegan and vegetarian establishments, to popular breakfast and brunch spots.
Local social justice organizations and legal defense funds
Restaurant owners and their employees, along with members of the community, have been sharing on social media where they’ve been donating to over the last few weeks. Many of these social justice organizations have seen big upticks in donations since the protests began in earnest in early June, including the Atlanta Solidarity Fund.
The Atlanta Solidarity Fund, part of the grassroots organization and advocacy group the Action Network, provides bail funding, resources, and support to people who have been arrested during protests or other social justice causes. People can contribute online. Koinonia Coffee, owned by Westview resident Eduardo Lowe, donated all of its June profits to the organization. Lowe is also recommending people donate to Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund.
Black Lives Matter—Atlanta Chapter
The Atlanta chapter of Black Lives Matter was founded in 2015 by local community organizer Dre Propst and Mary Hooks, the co-director of LGBTQ social justice and advocacy group Southerners On New Ground. The group has lead a boycott of Stone Mountain State Park for allowing white supremacist groups to continue to meet there, helps to highlight Black-owned businesses and restaurants in Atlanta, holds political forums prior to elections, and assists families fighting for justice whose loved ones were brutalized or killed by police.
The national Black Lives Matter organization has also compiled a list of resources, which includes organizations to donate to, how to donate to victims’ families, understanding protester rights, and pro bono lawyers here.
The ongoing and important work done at both the local and national levels by the NAACP cannot be overstated. The organization, founded in 1909, is now America’s largest civil rights organization. The NAACP continues to play a pivotal role as a social justice and racial discrimination watchdog and is an ardent defender of civil and humans rights in the United States. The local chapters provider vital resources ranging from legal services and legal counsel, to educational forums on eliminating discriminatory practices and promoting health and wellness in the Black community. Follow the Atlanta chapter on Instagram for updates on protests and local initiatives.
The Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund was created by the community for the community in metro Atlanta offering Black, Indigenous, and other peoples of color and marginalized groups immediate aid during a crisis. The group has most recently been working on helping communities of color and vulnerable populations caught up in the COVID-19 health crisis. The organization features resources on its homepage, including links to lawyers and legal aid, COVID-19 testing, food banks, college assistance programs, and meal programs.
For close to one hundred years, the ACLU has been dedicated to protecting people’s civil liberties, no matter their legal status in the United States. This includes protecting First Amendment and voter rights, the rights of women and their reproductive rights, fighting for criminal justice reform, helping to train poll workers to assist in elections, and providing free legal counsel to those in need. The ACLU at the local, regional, and national levels also trains volunteers as legal observers who don blue vests and help monitor protests and events to ensure people’s rights are not being violated. Donations to and membership in the ACLU help to fund these efforts.