James Beard Foundation works to provide racial equality

James Beard Foundation, which advocates for independent restaurants, acknowledged it has not been “aggressive enough” in supporting restaurants owned by Black people and people of color.

Admitting that combating social discrimination was “not aggressive enough,” the James Beard Foundation revealed some reforms this week aimed at starting to even out certain racial inequities in the independent restaurant industry. The group said it is working with its internal committee, as well as outside consultants, to identify changes in the awards selection process that would better support racial justice. The James Beard Foundation is also creating a new Open for Good Industry Support Fund. The fund’s first phase of grants will prioritize Black-owned restaurants, with more information on the fund slated in the coming weeks.

“This is not a quick fix,” James Beard Foundation CEO Clare Reichenbach said in a statement, Restaurant Business reported. “We aren’t just going to try to make things look better. We’re going to do the work to make the industry better for the Black and Brown people who not only make up half of our industry but who are fundamental to the history and expression of America’s food culture—past, present and future.”