Paying Tribute to

Seattle ‘High Road’ Restaurant Owners:

A Live Streamed Racial Equity Event

For interviews and other media requests, as well as further information on the Seattle Racial Equity project and ROC United programs, contact Anthony Advincula, director of communications, at, or Nona Raybern, communications advisor, SOCR, at


The Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, in partnership with the Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR), will pay tribute to Seattle-based restaurant owners who continue to practice sustainable racial equity models that champion living wages, essential benefits, fair promotion policies and safety guidelines, most notably for workers of color. 

On July 29th, 2021, at 3 pm PST / 6 pm EST, we virtually came together to hear stories from Seattle restaurant owners, workers and supporters and honor their work and dedication to make the restaurant industry a more equitable and profitable place for all workers.

Restaurant workers are disproportionately people of color, immigrants and women. The “high road” restaurant owners we feature have continued to develop and create inclusive opportunities for these workers to ensure they are treated with dignity and respect–through equitable living wages and safe working conditions–and, at the same time, maintain business profitability.

Speakers & Featured Restaurant Owners

• Dr. Sekou Siby, president and CEO, ROC United
• Mariko Lockhart, director, Seattle Office For Civil Rights
• Erika White, owner, Fat's Chicken and Waffles
• Geetanjali Vailoor, owner, Union Coffee
• Kristi Brown, owner, Communion Restaurant & Bar /That Brown Girl Cooks!
• Gina Tolentino, owner, Bar Del Corso

Restaurant Workers and Performers

• Jordan Brown, assistant producer, Racial Equity Project / former server
• Gabriele Brownstein, server
• Megan Krantz, teaching artist / former server


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