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Nonprofit Talks at Yelp in 2020

Photo by Dio Hasbi Saniskoro via Pexels

A key part of the Yelp Foundation mission is to promote a culture of philanthropy among Yelp employees. Throughout 2020, we invited leaders of various nonprofit organizations to tell us more about the important work they’re doing.   

Fireside Chat with Kathleen Foley-Hughes, founder of ADA’s Cafe: ‎‏In recognition of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we invited Kathleen Foley-Hughes of Ada’s Cafe to come tell us more about what motivated her to start this organization. Ada’s Cafe is a nonprofit social enterprise with a mission to hire, train and empower adults with a variety of disabilities.

Fireside Chat with Rodney Foxworth from Common Future: We chatted with Common Future CEO Rodney Foxworth about the racial wealth gap, his organization’s vision of sustainable, equitable economies that work for all, and the importance of supporting Black-led organizations. Common Future is a network of leaders (re)building an economy that includes everyone.

Literacy as a Tool for Social Justice – Fireside Chat with Ken Bigger: The Chicago Literacy Alliance (CLA) was formed with a collective passion to help people of all ages and backgrounds receive the critical literacy support they need, from basic education and tutoring through enrichment, literary arts, and book distribution. The CIA has been a Yelp Foundation grantee for several years, and Ken Bigger shared with our employees what programs our funds are enabling for their Chicago community. 

At La Cocina, The Only Constant Is Change: 2020 has been a year that posed many challenges to small business owners, so we invited former Yelper Katherine Sundt to come talk to us about how La Cocina has adapted its programming during the COVID-19 pandemic. The mission of La Cocina, another multi-year grantee of the Yelp Foundation, is to cultivate low-income food entrepreneurs as they formalize and grow their businesses.

Fireside Chat with Doug Hewitt from 1951 Coffee Company: 1951 Coffee Company is a non-profit organization that promotes the well-being of the refugee community in the U.S. by providing job training and employment to refugees, asylees, and special immigrant visa holders. Join us as we hear from founder Doug Hewitt about what inspired him to start this project in 2015 and how he’s navigating his organization through the difficulties of the coronavirus pandemic.

Not Just Open for Business – Open to All: Yelp launched the Open to All attribute in 2018 in partnership with Open to All, encouraging businesses to make the commitment to creating safe, welcoming, and inclusive spaces for customers, employees, and communities. We talked to Calla Rongerude, the founder and director of Open To All, about what inspired her to start this movement and how Yelp has been instrumental in its success.

Bread Baking with Hot Bread Kitchen: Hot Bread Kitchen is a New York based food incubator that helps talented entrepreneurs jumpstart their journey toward a thriving business, financial security, and new jobs for their community. Selling specialty breads – inspired by the cultural diversity of their entrepreneur community – has been one way Hot Bread Kitchen has funded their work. During this Yelp event we learned how to make M’semen, a flaky flatbread from North Africa.