Jon Gray: Using food-based experiences as a vehicle for story
Gideon Lichfield sits down with Ghetto Gastro cofounder Jon Gray to discuss shedding light on the underestimated and using food as a vehicle for story.
Jon Gray
The next frontier in social justice is food. How we eat, and who gets to eat what matters. The food that's available to low-income families, both financially and geographically, is often limited and less healthy than what's available to other socioeconomic classes. Shouldn’t we all be able to consume food that nourishes us? We can look around the world and see all the ways in which food is advancing a class system based on social and racial divides. So how do we fix this? How can we make healthy food accessible for all?
That’s exactly what Jon Gray is tackling at Ghetto Gastro, a food collective he co-founded that’s working to promote food inclusion by using food-based events and experiences to bring attention to social injustice. Gray’s innovative mind embodies the spirit of The Art of Drive, a global platform spearheaded and designed to educate and inspire the next generation of creators through boundary-pushing ideas and storytelling. This conversation between WIRED Global Editorial Director Gideon Lichfield and Jon Gray is presented by Porsche - a company that intimately understands the power of imagination and setting big goals. Our founder, Ferry Porsche, couldn’t find the car of his dreams so he decided to build it himself. That’s the spirit of The Art of Drive: to highlight dreamers and doers like Gray, who inspire others to take on their dreams and create more powerful forces for change in the world.To Gray, one of the by-products of systemic oppression is people not knowing themselves and their histories, but food and story can help people explore that. “A lot of our mission is storytelling and shedding light on underestimated groups and places and parts that people have long overlooked,” he says. “When we think about food, we use it as a vehicle for story.” The Art of Drive aims to elevate the work of people like Gray in order to both help promote his ideas and to empower and inspire others to pursue their own. Gray knows he has critics, but he also knows that what he is doing is the right way for him to make a difference in the world. His advice to others looking to make a meaningful difference in the world is to stay persistent and to just keep going. “Make sure you have a stomach for risk and some insecurity,” says Gray. Those things will be there when you’re trying to forge a new path. “Be willing to try and take a couple of swings. Those are the folks that change the world.”
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