‘We Stand With You’ encourages discussion
Open conversations can lead to better understanding and societal changes. That was the concept behind 200 Sacramento restaurants participating in the “We Stand With You” event the first week of June to show support for local African American communities.
The community gatherings were organized by Curtis Park resident Rob Archie, owner of Pangaea Bier Cafe and Urban Roots.
Participating restaurants closed their doors for service from noon to 3 p.m., but opened for conversations between staff and with neighbors about how businesses and individuals can help enact change.
“I was happy to help create a platform for the hospitality industry and neighbors to have these very difficult conversations,” Archie said. “We encourage people in the community and our culinary teams to continue these conversations by incorporating dialogue into the restaurant culture.”
Also participating was Gunther’s Ice Cream. “We want to support our community and all Black communities,” said owner Marlena Klopp. “We need change.”
Two dozen neighbors and staff from the two Franklin Boulevard businesses spent the three hours talking, exchanging stories, holding up signs and waving to passing drivers who honked in support.
“I work for Gunther’s and this is a way to show our support for the BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement,” said Julia Hyde, who lives on Ninth Avenue. “Everyone who came out was very excited to participate and it was overall a very positive experience.”
Marty Marriott of 30th Street appreciated the event, explaining, “We can all be better people and treat one another as we’d like to be treated.”
Archie plans to continue his outreach through his guest speaker series at Urban Roots, inviting customers and staff to hear “dynamic speakers talk about race relations, leadership training, and other issues to help grow our company and community.”