Café Mocha Salute Her: Beauty of Diversity Tour presents Inaugural Toyota Green Award
Honoree Jerri Evans, continues family legacy bringing healthy food choices to underserved communities
Jerri Evans, owner of Turning Natural, accepts Toyota Green award from Toyota USA Rep Alva Adams Mason and event hosts. L to r: Angelique Perrin, Alva Adams Mason—Toyota, Jerri Evans, YoYo and Mo Ivory. (Eclipse Photography)
The concept of “going green” is still new in many African American communities, but thanks to the Toyota Green Initiative (TGI)—launched by Toyota USA six years ago – the concept has grown substantially, spotlighting green solutions through interactive business partnerships and innovative programs within communities of color to increase recycling, reduce waste, and overall educate the public.
Understanding the impact of women as decision makers and a key advocate for any serious initiative, Toyota partnered with Café Mocha, the number one nationally syndicated radio show for women of color, to serve as the presenting sponsor of the Salute Her: Beauty of Diversity Tour. Additionally, with the creation of the Toyota Green Award, organizations and women are honored for their work in the sustainable field to help advance minority communities.
At the tour’s recent stop in Washington, D.C. the inaugural Toyota Green Award was presented to Ms. Jerri Evans owner and operator of Turning Natural, juice bar and café is the first vegan restaurant in Southeast Washington’s Anacostia neighborhood. Evans was recognized as a sustainability champion for the rigorous green standards she adheres to – and also for bringing healthy, vegetarian fare to a neighborhood long considered a food desert. As such, Evans best exemplifies the goals of TGI. Alva Adams Mason, Director of African American Business Strategy for Toyota Motors, North America, said that she was particularly proud of the honoree for the first Toyota Green Award.
“Jerri Evans personifies what the Toyota Green Initiative is all about,” Mason said. “It’s so important for us to be responsible and challenge our community to learn more about environmentally friendly and sustainable living. What better way to have that conversation then with a radio show like ‘Café Mocha’ that’s got the ear of mothers, sisters and millennials.”
This year Toyota USA and ORS Hair Care joined Café Mocha as the sponsors of the annual Salute HER: Beauty of Diversity Awards to pay tribute to African American women making a difference in their communities around the country.
The Salute Her: Beauty of Diversity Awards also honored Cora Masters Barry, CEO of the Recreation Wish List Committee; Micheline Bowman, news coordinator of WTTG Fox 5; philanthropist and NBA mother “MVP” Wanda Durant; Carla Reid, GM/CEO of Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission; Carol Y. Dudley, director of Career Development, Howard University School of Communications; celebrity hairstylist and entrepreneur Kim Kimble; Maisie Dunbar, founder/CEO of Maisie Dunbar Spa Lounge; and relationship expert, television personality and bestselling author Iyanla Vanzant.
The Café Mocha Salute Her series benefits the Mocha Cares Foundation that supports women and children in local shelters with mentorship programs. Created as an outgrowth of the radio show the foundation is designed to use their media platform to employ a network of experts, celebrities and corporate friends to develop interactive programming to improve the lives of families in transition.
“Sustainable living is a topic rarely touched on in our communities, yet it is important that we as a community begin to have conversations about ways to protect our Earth and ensure future generations have the resources needed to live healthy lives,” said Café Mocha creator and executive producer Sheila Eldridge.
Next stops for the Salute Her: Beauty of Diversity presented by Toyota Tour are New York City, Mist Harlem October 13th with WBLS-FM and Chicago, Hotel Allegro Dec. 1st with WSRB-FM. An array of diverse honorees will be announced and saluted in each market.