Imbibe 75 People to Watch: Clay Williams and Colleen Vincent - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Imbibe 75 People to Watch: Clay Williams and Colleen Vincent

The food and beverage world has historically minimized the crucial contributions of Black people, a systemic oversight that Clay Williams and Colleen Vincent are helping reverse with Black Food Folks, equal parts community network and celebratory platform. “Our communities need to tell our stories and connect with one another and, quite frankly, be seen,” says Vincent, who is also vice president of community for the James Beard Foundation.

“We want to be the leaders in pushing that forward and having more representative voices out there,” adds Williams, a photographer and Imbibe contributor.

Williams and Vincent launched Black Food Folks in early 2019 with a Brooklyn party that drew people from as far away as Detroit, spending the first year focusing on networking and professional development. The pandemic necessitated a shift to digital storytelling and discussions on their robust Instagram feed, drawing guests ranging from chefs to brewers, sommeliers, and bartenders. “The food industry isn’t really one industry,” Williams says.

They’re also working to create more Black stakeholders by awarding grants through brand partnerships. “If there’s any way that Black businesses can work toward equal footing, it’s going to be through properly funding them,” Williams says.

Click here to read about some this year’s other Imbibe 75 People to Watch.

Enjoy This Article?

Sign up for our newsletter and get biweekly recipes and articles delivered to your inbox.

Send this to a friend