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How these Black restaurant owners are helping to inspire the next generation

Posted at 6:34 PM, Mar 08, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. -- Sitting in an art studio listening to a panel isn't the typical way that college students would spend their spring break.

However, it's an opportunity that students who are a part of Alternative Spring Break at Howard University are thankful for.

"Going to a place like Howard University, it constantly reminds you. But hearing it from someone else in a new community that we've never been to before is even more empowering," Howard student Alexis Williams said.

The event is part of Richmond's Black Restaurant Experience week and gave students the chance to hear from and speak with local Black restaurant food owners. Chef and co-owner of the Lindsey Food Group, Michael Lindsey, was one of the panelists.

"The work that you put in in college and all that hard work you put in in high school, just remember that's going to continue to get to the prize," Lindsey said.

It's a message that he and Kelli Lemon, the co-founder of the Black Restaurant Experience, said they hope students will take away from this event every year.

"This was our giveback, this was making sure that the future understood that they could be business owners, they could be leaders in the community," Lemon said.

A junior at Howard, Naomi Spann said she feels motivated by Wednesday's panel to push through, stay consistent and make her dreams her reality.

"If you're consistent and you believe in yourself as much as you say you do, remember your why. You're going to be able to achieve no matter what anyone says," Spann said.

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