For The Health 2020-10-20T08:43:38-05:00
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On June 6th, Emily Brown, founder and CEO of Food Equality Initiative, wrote an open letter to the food allergy community in response to the tragic death of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. Floyd’s death sparked protests across the country, unified under the motto: Black Lives Matter. Issues like police brutality, systemic racism, and the silencing of black voices have all come to the forefront of American politics and Emily Brown decided to make her voice heard. 

The response from the food allergy community was amazing. In almost every facet of American life, racism is present; but the food allergy community decided it was time to make a change. The team at Food Equality Initiative organized a series of webinars to discuss the racial and economic disparities in public health, particularly in regard to food allergies. We pulled experts and leaders from all over the United States to join the conversation and offered the results free for anyone who wants to listen. 

Part 1: Notable Black Voices

JUNE 19, 2020

In this webinar we spoke with leaders in major institutions in the food allergy industry about: food as medicine, industry standards, labeling, diversity in research, school lunches, and investing in community.

1) Emily Brown’s Inspiration for the For The Health Webinar @ 2:51
Open Letter to the Food Allergy Community

2) Steps to Address the Social Determinants of Health, a medical professional’s view @ 4:35
Journal Of Academic Pediatrics Study
Other recent Studies of Black Communities and Food Allergies, gathered by Allergic Living

3) Technology’s Role in Closing Racial Disparities in Healthcare @ 9:31 & @ 24:34
Alerje’s mission to serve food allergy patients with an app

4) Allergen-Friendly + Gluten-Free ≠ Healthy @ 12:20
Partake Food’s origin story

5) Food Allergy Advocacy & Legislation @ 15:13
Elijah-Alavi Foundation

6) How Parents & Children Alike Can Raise Food Allergy Awareness @ 17:14

7) What can Medical Professionals do to raise the issue of racial disparities in medicine? @26:35

8) How can Black Parents make themselves heard in School settings? @30:04

9) How can people get educated? @43:43

10) How To Be An Effective Ally @ 21:15 & @ 35:41
Food Equality Initiative’s 7% Fund


Emily Brown

CEO | Food Equality Initiative

Denise Woodard

partake foods

Javier Evelyn


Lakiea Wright-Bello

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Thomas Silvera


Dina Silvera


Linsey Davis


Karen Palmer


Part 2: How to Be an Ally

JULY 17, 2020

In this webinar we spoke with allies of the black food allergy community about: what is an ally, how to best support non-profits, medical provider’s role, economic factors in healthcare, and individual vs institutional change.

1) What does it mean to be an ally of FEI? Emily Brown’s answer @ 2:52 

2) How has data about racial disparities impacted the study of food allergy? @ 9:12 & @ 43:57

3) What is the Spokin Cares campaign? @ 13:01

4) How can companies use their resources to support non-profits such as FEI who directly work with communities in need? @ 19:51 & @ 38:42 & @57:31

5) What does “doing better” look like for an ally? @ 24:08

6) How do you know which organization to support? How Natalie Giorgi Sunshine Foundation decided to invest in FEI @ 30:09 & @54:36

7) How can medical providers be more effective allies for families at the beginning of their food allergy journey? @ 32:12

8) How do economic factors come into play in healthcare? @ 35:08

9) What can be done globally to encourage systemic change? @48:11

10) How can we balance individual and institutional change? @50:00


Karen Palmer


Emily Brown

CEO | Food Equality Initiative

Dan Waters

CEO | Enjoy Life Foods

Susie Hultquist

CEO | Spokin

Dr. Ruchi Gupta

Northwestern University Center for Allergy and Asthma Research

Louis & Joanne Giorgi

Natalie Giorgi Sunshine Foundation


SEPTEMBER 18, 2020

In this webinar we spoke with leaders in major institutions in the food allergy industry about: food as medicine, industry standards, labeling, diversity in research, school lunches, and investing in community.

  1. Food as Medicine in the treatment of food allergy @ 2:50
    • for food allergies, and other illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease
    • how does health insurance fit in? @ 25:16 
  1. FEI’s big announcement @ 6:31
    • the evolution of FEI and what is in-store for the future
  1. FARE’s Food Allergy Consumer journey study @ 10:24
    • what it is like to shop for someone who has food allergies
  1. Standardized Food Labels @ 13:41
    • on all food items across the industry
    • industry thresholds for food allergies @ 55:16
    • getting manufacturers on board @ 57:03 
  1. School Lunch Programs @ 16:36
    • how 88 Acres is getting involved
    • how to make allergen-free food appealing for the pickiest eaters (children)
  1. Diagnosis of Food Allergies in the ER @ 34:58
    • how are food allergy families being supported in the emergency medical setting?
    • support in terms of various social determinants of health (mentally, financially, etc.)
  1. Does Medical Research represent diversity? @ 44:03
    • how to make it more inclusive @ 47:05 
  1. Investing in community @ 51:19
    • hiring local employees, basing wage on living requirements according to zip codes, etc.
  1. Creating partnerships with industry and underserved communities @ 58:23
    • how to make sure the changes are what the community needs/wants
  1. Educating others about food allergies @ 1:04:56


Karen Palmer


Emily Brown

CEO | Food Equality Initiative

Nicole Ledoux


Dr. Bridgette Jones


Jerry Jones

Director of community health
Blue cross blue shield of KC

Lisa Gable


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