From: Howard Jacobson <>
Subject: Can vegan and plant-based communities be open to people of color?

Recent podcast:

Lisa A Smith is a serial entrepreneur who's made it her life's work to empower the Black community with information, skills, and philosophies that support health, peace of mind, and mutual support.

Ms Smith is the founder of the Black Health Academy, creator of the Pharm to Table course, and executive director of the 7000+ member Plant Based Nutrition Support Group operating in Detroit (you can check out my interview with the founder, Paul Chatlin, here).

The mission of the Black Health Academy is to “eradicate the most common and preventable lifestyle diseases which disproportionately impact the black community.”

Ms Smith began her career as a social worker in the foster care system, and discovered the dysfunctions of her diet when she lived abroad, in Italy and China, and saw that other cultures used food in completely different – and far more empowering and healthy – ways.

Upon her return to the States, Ms Smith became a certified personal trainer, a certified plant-based nutrition counselor, and an advocate for plant-based health in the Black community.

We talked about the need for Black representation in the plant-based and vegan movements, the problem of people of color not seeing anyone who looks like them at plant-based conferences and Vegfests (specifically the paucity of Black women presenters), and ways in which the cuisine and recipes of the mainstream don't satisfy the taste buds of communities of color.

We also spoke about why the Black community is receptive to “alternative” approaches to health, based on a long history of being lied to and exploited by the medical establishment. We spoke about Dr Sebi, the Honduran healer who is universally known and revered in the Black community, and almost unknown – and typically reviled as a quack – by whites.

We also explored the obstacles to change, including addictions to salt, oil, and sugar, and how to address the unmet needs underlying those addictions with clarity and presence and compassion.

Watch/listen here:


Tip Jar:
Get Coached:
Become a Health Coach: