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Influencers launch collective to reshape food and wellness—for the better

Food + Wellness Equity Collective is committed to equity, diversity and anti-racism in the food and wellness industry.

Cameron Simcik

July 14, 2020

3 Min Read
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Content matters. Especially in the current climate, creating impactful content for your natural products brand is an opportunity to be part of meaningful, lasting change throughout the industry. That's where the Food + Wellness Equity Collective comes in.

Influencers and co-founders Yoli Ouiya of Yoli's Green Living and Sonja Overhiser of A Couple Cooks created the collective to bring together a diverse group of content creators and entrepreneurs to be change agents of equity, diversity and anti-racism in the food and wellness industry. It connects and supports content creators and entrepreneurs, compels brands to be part of this work and advances food justice and wellness equity at the national and local level.

The Food + Wellness Equity Collective's work is changing the face of food and wellness so it’s accessible to and reflective of all people. Interested in joining this mission? Ouiya and Overhiser reveal more below.

Why is it important for food and wellness content creators to be change agents of equity, diversity and anti-racism?

Yoli Ouiya Headshot

Yoli Ouiya: Everyone needs food and wellness in their lives, especially during this health crisis and racial injustice pandemic. Content creators have been easily accessible for their communities to find the latest information on trends and first-hand feedback of new products. Being that we have become a reliable and integral source for various facets of everyday life, we get to be the change we wish to see in the world.

Sonja Overhiser: If we truly care about food and wellness, we have to care about access to that for everyone. Food is communal and so is wellness. If systemic racism causes the table to be unequal, we all suffer.

Holding brands accountable to diversity and equity is part of the Collective. Why is this important?

YO: It is imperative that brands/companies represent a microcosm of the world market. If you have singular types of voices on your team, you miss an opportunity to hear paradigms of ideas, thoughts and creativity that readily exist in other communities.

Sonja Overhiser Headshot

SO: We’re all in this together. The anti-racism fight is for all industries, and there are many inequities in the food and wellness world. We’ve got to hold our industry accountable.

What does this look like?

YO: Honestly, like everyone else, we are still figuring this out. We are exploring various options such as enrolling brands to invest in racial bias training with potential partners to really tackle the systemic disparities that exist at the core.

We have also discussed the possibility of partnering with brands for some more on-the-ground and tangible programs to give back to local communities around the country. One of our bigger goals is to be change-makers in local and federal policies around food and wellness.

SO: We’re excited about working with brands on more creative initiatives to promote equity in our spheres of influence. We hope brands are willing to invest in this work, because the time is now.

How does the Food + Wellness Equity Collective help brands diversify their influencer partnerships?

YO: The first step is acknowledging there is a lack of diversity and examining why that is. The second is not trying to throw a bunch of new pictures of diverse people on your social media feeds to be performative.

We are curating a group of content creators who have always done the work and have not been celebrated, highlighted, paid or acknowledged as much as their counterparts. We seek to be part of distinctive campaigns that are rooted in equity, awareness, product knowledge and longevity versus one-off opportunities that read like a sales ad. Yes, you are selling a product, but are you building a loyal community of diverse folks who feel seen and authentically included? If not, come talk to us.

To contact the Food + Wellness Equity Collective, email: [email protected] and follow on Instagram at @foodwellnessequity.

About the Author(s)

Cameron Simcik

Community & Conference Content Coordinator, New Hope Network

Cameron is a certified nutritionist passionate about elevating emerging natural products brands through writing and conference programming and bringing holistic health to the masses.

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