in ,

Here’s what it is like to go to a Toyota Green Initiative luncheon

Friday at noon, one of my new writers and I walked into one of Nas’ new eateries, situated on the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Park Place in Brooklyn, New York.

Photos by me—except the ones with me in them; Unknown and Brandon Wint


Upon entry, we were politely greeted and masterly instructed, which is my kind of function, I believe, whenever you are at someone’s event as a guest, you should have little to no questions about the order of events, how to conduct yourself. Maybe it is disconcerting to want to be orderly for some people, but I think the good folks at Toyota scored there.

A custom, grassy step and repeat lined the eggshell blue wall of the restaurant known for its take on the albeit Southern comfort—food chicken and waffles. It read ‘TOYOTA’ in white on the top line and ‘GREEN’ in green at the bottom. Just a few feet away, a young woman worked the portable photo booth. She asked if I wanted a photo or an animated GIF of myself in front of the wall. I accepted. The image taken with my phone is the better version.

Toyota Green Initiative
Photos by me—except the ones with me in them; Unknown and Brandon Wint

In my world, strategic placement and quality presentation are at the top of our lists, so for that display to be the first thing we saw, it meant a lot to me. To be real, it was a snazzy representation. I’m not easily impressed by much, but that stuck with me. It’s probably one of the only things that remained in my memory, from that day, beyond the knowledge each panellist shared.

I couldn’t stay until the end because I had a flight to catch, but based on what I heard, it is time for young African-American/Black people to become aware of sustainability, of eco-friendly environments, of what we put into our bodies, of economic advantage, and of self-respect. We also shouldn’t take time for granted: How and when we apply it is vital for us, our surroundings, and the generations to follow.

Stic of Dead Prez talked about many things, but what he shared about self-healing was important. At twenty-one, he was diagnosed with a sick. Luckily for his sake, his wife suggested that he try an alternative to prescribed medicine. He went vegan. According to the artist and FitHop founder, his lifestyle changed aided in him beating the sickness. He was able to rid it of his body. Since then, he has led a plant-based life. The activist, author, and rapper is now 44-years-old. As someone who was able to meet, speak to him, see him in person, he is in great shape!

I know what some of you may be thinking: I can’t afford to eat like him. It’s too expensive. Well, Stic wrote an article called, “7 Ways to Eat Good on a Hood Budget”. So, it’s about how and when we all apply the information.

Ahead of the panel discussion, all guests helped themselves to a spread of food and drinks—all compliments of Toyota Green Initiative, AFROPUNK, and Sweet Chick.

PS: I made it to my destination safely.

Richardine at Denver International Airport

Written by Richardine Bartee

Her unprejudiced love for people, the arts, and business have taken her this far. Join Richardine on her journey as she writes history into existence, one article at a time. Richardine is a member of the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs, and a GRAMMY U Mentor. She is the North American Press Agent and US Business Manager for Oxlade; Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

The Night Game

Is it alright to wonder if a past love thinks about you when they’re with someone new? Ask The Night Game

Crazy Rich Asians

‘Crazy Rich Asians’, reviewed