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People Across America Are Invited to Boost Local Black-Owned Restaurants

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Make Your Meal Count: People Across America Are Invited to Boost Local Black-Owned Restaurants on the First-Ever “Pepsi® Dig In Day” on Nov. 6

Calling all food lovers! Pepsi is sharing a first look at some of the signature events and perks arriving for the first-ever Dig In Day, a celebration of all Black-owned restaurants and chefs across America. On Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, everyone is invited to uplift Black-owned restaurants in their community simply by enjoying delicious food and refreshing beverages.

“We all have to eat so let’s create a positive butterfly effect for small businesses and communities alike by being intentional about where we dine or order from,” said Chef JJ Johnson, Pepsi Dig In Day ambassador and James Beard Award-winning chef, TV personality, author and owner of FIELDTRIP restaurants located throughout New York City. “FIELDTRIP will serve a signature rice bowl in honor of Dig In Day, and I’m making plans to support my favorite Black-owned restaurants.”

Pepsi is calling everyone to come together before, during and after Dig In Day by dining with or ordering from their Black-owned restaurant of choice, then uploading their receipts to DigInPassport.com – a new site that makes it easy to explore Black-owned restaurants, track purchases to show support, and earn a chance for rewards. Many Black-owned restaurants across the country are planning special offerings and activities that will make this first Dig In Day delicious for all.

Free Feasts on Pepsi Dig In Day (Nov. 6)

In all corners of the country, Dig In Day food trucks will serve up complimentary bites and ice-cold Pepsi Zero Sugar from various Black-owned restaurants:

  • Ben’s Chili Bowl will warm up fans with its three signature chili bowls at the University of Maryland vs Penn State University tailgate in College Park, Md.
  • Brotherly Grub will share standout southern-inspired cuisine with a local twist at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Off the Bone Barbeque of Dallas, Texas will dish out gourmet barbecue at the Baylor University vs Texas Christian University tailgate in Fort Worth, Texas.
  • Trap Kitchen will whip up Cajun fare at the Black International Marketplace of Oakland, Calif.

For dine in, Seafood Connection will offer free, signature seafood dishes with house-made secret sauce at its restaurant in Houston, Texas.

Limited-Edition Merch Drop on NTWRK

To commemorate Dig In Day and inspire Gen-Z and Millennial audiences to get engaged, Pepsi joined forces with NTWRK, North America’s premier livestream shopping platform, to create a limited-edition collectible. Chef Johnson and fashion designer/creative director Sheron Barber teamed up to design a Crossbody Culinary Case, which will be available exclusively on the NTWRK app on Nov. 6  at 9 a.m. PST/12 p.m. EST in ultra-limited quantities.

The all-original luxury leather bag and carrier was made with versatility in mind, combining functional features and easy-to-wear style elements for everyday use for everyone from chefs to on-the-go creators. The multi-purpose, black crossbody bag also features a detachable interior knife bag with cutlery compartments, pocketing, and reinforced padded walls.

How to Make Your Meal Count and Earn Rewards  

Food lovers are invited to create a wave of positive impact for Black-owned restaurants on Dig In Day. The mobile-friendly Pepsi DigInPassport.com helps people seamlessly find Black-owned restaurants, upload receipts, and earn just-unveiled digital badges that can be redeemed for tasty prizes that continue to feed the Black culinary community including gift cards, cooking classes and cool collectibles. Here’s how to get involved on Dig In Day and beyond:

  1. Eat: Dine at a local Black-owned restaurant, in person or by ordering, and save your receipt.
  2. Upload: Visit DigInPassport.com to sign up, upload your receipt, and automatically earn a chance to win culinary rewards. 
  3. Repeat: Start supporting Black-owned eateries before, during and after the special day; and encourage friends and family to do the same by sharing delicious meals on social with #DigInDay.

“We’re re-igniting support with individuals and companies alike by giving them an easy way to make their meal count on Dig In Day and every day,” said Scott Finlow, Chief Marketing Officer, PepsiCo Global Foodservice. “Our goal is to go beyond this moment to feed a movement and we’re already seeing incredible excitement from the restaurant community, our PepsiCo associates, and corporate partners who together can really make this big.”

Dig In Day ambassador Chef JJ Johnson and fashion designer Sheron Barber collaborate on an all-original luxury leather bag and carrier collectible that pays homage to Black-owned restaurants and Pepsi Dig In Day.

Organizations Buying Their Employees Lunch from Black-Owned Restaurants

Pepsi is inviting other companies to join the movement by buying their employees lunch from Black-owned restaurants or encouraging them to participate leading up to Dig In Day. Confirmed corporate partners to date include Arizona Diamondbacks, BentoBox, Eastport Holdings, LLC, Forward Motion Media, Fuse, Genesco Sports Enterprises, Golin, Intersport, The James Beard Foundation, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Rams, Lowe’s, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Dolphins, Miami HEAT, Minnesota Twins, Monumental Sports, National Basketball Association, National Football League, Oak View Group, Pinterest, Tampa Bay Lightning, Ten35, Vail Resorts, Washington Capitals, Washington Football Team, Washington Mystics, Washington Wizards, and WCNC (ABC).

How Restaurants Can Participate in Dig In Day

Pepsi is sharing creative ways to get people ordering online and walking through the doors of Black-owned restaurants. Black restaurateurs are invited to visit PepsiDigIn.com to access resources to grow their business and make the most of Dig In Day, including dedicated toolkits to provide restaurant owners with templated brand materials to help bolster their marketing and social media efforts.

About Pepsi Dig In

In 2020, PepsiCo committed more than $400 million to advance racial equality within the company, industry and communities it serves. As part of that, the company dedicated $50 million to support Black-owned businesses over the next five years. As a result, PepsiCo developed a multi-faceted platform designed to drive access, business acceleration, and awareness including millions in grants and resources. Restaurateurs interested in learning more can visit pepsidigin.com/resources-for-restaurateurs and food lovers can follow @PepsiDigIn on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Pepsi Dig In Day is the latest and most broad-reaching initiative the brand is spearheading to drive $100 million in sales for Black-owned restaurants over the next five years. A concerted effort to support these diverse culinary establishments that serve as the cornerstone for communities across the nation, the Dig In Day national call to action will be supported by dedicated advertising, partnerships, business resources and local events.

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Blacks pay higher security deposits, more application fees

Renters of color pay security deposits more often than white renters, and the deposits they pay are typically $150 higher.
Black and Latinx renters report submitting more applications than white and Asian American and Pacific Islander renters. The typical white or Asian American and Pacific Islander renter submits two applications, while the typical Black or Latinx renter submits three.

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Renters of color pay higher security deposits, more application fees

Results from Zillow’s Consumer Housing Trends Report show renters of color typically submit more applications — and pay more in application fees — before they secure a place to live than white renters do. Renters of color also typically pay a higher security deposit when they move in.

The U.S. rental market is as competitive as it’s been in decades, with the national vacancy rate lower than at any time since 1984.ii Rent prices have skyrocketed, up a record 17% in just the past year, prompting some priced-out renters to look for a more affordable home when their lease expires. About 9 in 10 renters paid a security deposit last year, with the typical deposit coming in at $700. A higher share of renters of color paid a deposit (93%) than white renters (85%), and the median amount paid by renters of color was higher, too — $750, compared to $600.

“Rents grew more last year than any year on record, forcing many renters to look for a more affordable option. About 2 in 5 renters who moved in the past year said a rent hike influenced their decision to move,” said Manny Garcia, population scientist at Zillow. “Renters typically do not have much of a financial cushion, and the cost of finding a new place to live can be an expensive burden. Regrettably, renters of color are especially likely to experience rising rents, and when they shop for a new rental, generally report higher upfront costs, restricting the mobility that is often held up as a benefit of renting.” 

A $750 security deposit represents a significant amount of a typical renter’s wealth. Zillow’s research indicates a typical renter holds $3,400 total across savings, checking, retirement and investment accounts. More than one-third (38%) of renters surveyed say they couldn’t cover an unexpected expense of $1,000.

In addition to facing higher and more frequent security deposits, renters of color report submitting more applications and paying higher fees for those applications than white renters. In 2021, 61% of all renters applied for two or more properties — an 11-point increase from 2019 and five points higher than in 2020, likely owing to the tight rental market. The typical white or Asian American and Pacific Islander renter submits two applications, while a Black or Latinx renter typically submits three. More than one-third of renters of color submit five or more applications during their home search: that’s true of 38% of Black and Latinx renters, 33% of Asian American and Pacific Islander renters, and only 21% of white renters.

With a median rental application fee of $50, the cost can add up quickly if renters need to apply for several properties. The burden is often greater for renters of color, who report paying a higher median application fee than white renters, on top of usually needing to apply to more rentals. Among renters who paid an application fee for the home they rent, the typical white renter reports paying $50, while a typical Black renter paid $65, a typical Latinx renter paid $80 and a typical Asian American and Pacific Islander renter paid $100.

The higher fees and number of applications for renters of color are likely partially attributable to their age, income and geography. The typical renter of color is two years younger than the median white renter, meaning two fewer years of potential income growth. White renters are also more likely to rent in rural markets and the Midwest, both of which are generally less expensive. Asian American and Pacific Islander and Latinx renters, in particular, are more likely to rent in the West, which includes many of the country’s most expensive and competitive rental markets.

Expanding access to credit could help improve outcomes for Black and Latinx renters. Nearly half of white renters (46%) say they were completely certain they would qualify for a rental, compared to 38% of Latinx renters and 34% of Black renters. Credit checks are part of many rental applications, and Black and Latinx adults are more prone to being credit invisible and more often live in counties with higher levels of credit insecurity.

Renters looking to reign in application fees may have options. For a flat $29 fee, renters can use Zillow’s online rental application to apply through Zillow for an unlimited number of participating properties within 30 days. The online application includes a credit report and background check, which saves landlords time while screening prospective tenants and provides them with the information needed to feel confident about each applicant. Renters can also offer additional context and explain any negative items on their rental and credit history.

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Selma, Texas #1 for African Americans

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If you live in the Bexar Metro area consider moving to Selma.

Over one in every 10 people in San Antonio is African American. However, the US Census only documents individuals who responded to the mailed survey during the pandemic. Since 2017 to 2021, over 30,000 new black people moved to San Antonio.  These numbers can be deceiving if you don’t understand the geographical overview of the city.

Selma is also the highest average individual income out of the 14 cities. At $44.704, Selma has the highest average monthly personal income at $3,884.

Selma Texas has risen from third to first place in percentage (24.7%) of blacks. Converse, Texas (22.2%) has stayed the same in ranking at number two, while Live Oak, Texas (18.6%) has jumped ahead of Lackland Air Force Base (18.5%) to grab the #3 spot. San Antonio’s percentage dropped from 9th to 10th percent for the Bexar County metro area. Across all areas of the county, there has been an overall growth of 12% in African Americans.

Bexar Metro Black Populations

Selma24.7
Converse22.2
Live Oak18.6
Lackland AFB18.5
Kirby18.0
Cibolo16.3
Schertz11.5
Universal City9.1
Windcrest9.0
San Antonio6.8
Leon Valley6.2
Timberwood Park4.2
New Braunfels1.8
Boerne1.0
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Blavity Inc. Moves Nation’s Largest Black Tech Conference, AfroTech to Austin, TX

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Blavity Inc., the diversified digital media company behind AfroTech, 21Ninety, Travel Noire, Shadow and Act, and Blavity News, announced the relocation of the AfroTech Conference – the nation’s largest tech conference for Black innovators and founders – to Austin Texas. AfroTech 2022 will take place November 13-17, 2022 at the Austin Convention Center and surrounding venues located in the heart of Austin.

AfroTech Conference 2022 will be filled with the signature pillars you’ve come to know from AfroTech – exclusive programming, the world’s top Black innovators, sought-after networking, and for the first time, a new live music series extension all with the mission to bring Black disruptors together for connection, career development, and entertainment.

“After 2 years in the Metaverse we are thrilled to be back together in person in Austin. As our attendees have continued to grow from 650 attendees at our Inaugural AfroTech to 20,000 annual participants, we searched for a host city that is accessible to our diverse audience and provides the infrastructure for the vibrant experiences and connection we craft for our attendees. Austin is that home. I can’t wait to see everyone in person in November to learn, make connections and revel in the Black excellence that has become a hallmark of our AfroTech experiences” says CEO, Morgan DeBaun.

Blavity has made incredible investments in the leadership of our AfroTech team to ensure they are building a best-in-class experience for their community. Jeanne Procope, the VP of Conference Operations & Strategy, joins the team with 15+ years of experience in the conference & events business and reports into an expanded organization under Gautam Ranji, Blavity Inc. Chief Operating Officer, who has led the operational and strategic vision for Viacom, CBS, and Hearst.

To purchase your tickets for the 2022 AfroTech Conference, please visit https://www.experience.afrotech.com/afrotech-conference and to stay up to date on speaker and entertainment announcements, follow @afro.tech on Twitter.

ABOUT BLAVITY INC.
Blavity Inc. is a technology and news media company, founded in 2014 around a simple idea: enable Black millennials to tell their own stories. Today, we are home to the largest network of platforms and lifestyle brands serving Black millennials & gen-z through original content, video and unique experiences. The company has grown into a market leader for Black media, reaching over 100 million millennials per month through our growing brand portfolio which includes: Blavity News, 21Ninety, AfroTech, Travel Noire, Shadow & Act, and Blavity TV.

Journalists interested in covering the event may apply for credentials here. Please note, an application does not guarantee entry.

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