“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own”- Cesar Chavez
It was September 1st around 7 PM. After a long day of work, all I craved at the time was a large hot meal. I took the train into the city to find some small chops but to no avail. Everything I saw around me was fast food restaurants, food trucks, and convenient stores that sold hot takeaway food.
Trust me, if you are someone who works in or near the Boston area, you will mostly find yourself spending unnecessary amounts of money on food that is not essential to your diet. This time around I wanted something different. I took out my phone and immediately saw posts of the soft opening of a new black-owned vegan restaurant on social media. The buzz was serious so I decided to go there before it closed. Once I arrived, I saw a familiar woman behind the counters packing the last orders of the night. A woman whose energy and smile warmed the hearts of the most tired customers that straddled in. This woman was Nahdra Ra Kiros.
Ra Kiros is one of many multi-talented local business women whom I've had the pleasure to connect with in the city of Boston. She is Ethiopian by ethnicity but raised in Roxbury, the heart of Black culture in Boston. Not only is she a well-respected fashion designer and holistic health consultant, but she is now the co-owner of Oasis Vegan Veggie Parlor in Dorchester. Ra Kiros understood the health disparity among people of color in the community and found a way to fill the gap.