Earlier this year, vegan restaurant VTree opened in Hollywood with backing from celebrity powerhouse Nick Cannon. Now, the restaurant and Cannon are rallying the public for an event in honor of Juneteenth, a historic day that marked the emancipation of African-Americans from slavery in the US in 1865.

Taking place on Friday, June 19th, 2020, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., in the parking lot of Yamashiro (the historic restaurant VTree is located inside), the public is invited to partake in a celebration with southern-inspired vegan food and a line-up of musical performers. Guests attending are invited to park, eat and stream the performance, or bring seating to watch live with social distancing in place. Those unable to physically attend can watch the live stream via VTree’s Instagram. 

The event will serve a buffet-style meal for under $15. Fixings will include VTree’s infamous Fried Chicken, Mac and Cheese and a number of other dishes. A portion of the event proceeds will go to Our Own, a nonprofit dedicated to building and strengthening underrepresented communities through life-changing experiences.

The event will feature musicians including Mumu Fresh, Chika, April Sampe, and Ayanna Gregory, the daughter of the late civil rights activist, comedian and vegan Dick Gregory. Together, VTree and these prominent artists hope to amplify Black voices and bring the community together on the historic day.

Juneteenth has particular attention this year as protests have swept the nation over the killing of George Floyd,  Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others at the hands of police. Juneteenth, also known by many as “Freedom Day” is a holiday recognized as the end of slavery in America, though it’s not a national holiday. This week, companies like Twitter and Square have made a move to make it an official company holiday making it a paid day off for employees.

The VTree restaurant, which launched on April 30, 2020, is a collaboration between actor, rapper and TV personality Nick Cannon and the notable Chef Velvet, the owner of VelTree in Charlotte, North Carolina. Chef Velvet is known for her southern-inspired soul food made entirely from plants. She is also a social justice activist, author and public speaker.

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