Welcome to the Community Series.
These are the stories of the people and places that make our communities special, told through their own voices and perspectives. With this ongoing series, we want to celebrate these incredible locals and restaurants across the country, and around the world.
Why? Because if there’s anything the past year has taught us, it’s that our communities matter. They are essential. They’re what keeps us whole, both in good times and the not-so-good times. They change over time, and what we do (or don’t do) has an impact on them.
At the very heart of these communities are people who are effecting positive change. They are folks like chef and activist Tiffany Carter in San Francisco, fighting for spatial justice for the Black community in San Francisco. In the Twin Cities, chef Yia Vang is educating others about Hmong food and culture in an effort to preserve both. Food historian Adrian Miller is ensuring that African Americans aren’t written out of the American barbecue tradition they built. And in Long Beach, Calif., James Tir, a second-generation Cambodian American, wants to set the record straight about his community, and the resilience it has shown all these years.
We hope that by reading their stories, you’ll get a better understanding of their unique perspectives and experiences, and that you’ll eventually want to immerse yourselves into their communities, too. And we can think of no better way to start that than by going to the restaurants they’ve recommended — the third spaces that are the very cornerstones and anchors of their communities. These are the places where their stories come alive over a shared meal.
We also know there are so many stories still left to be told, and so many meals waiting to be enjoyed. This is in no way a finished project. Every month, we will continue to spotlight new stories and new communities, and we could use your help.
So, if you know of an incredible changemaker, or someone making a difference in their community, please let us know. We would love to hear their story, and to make sure that others do, too.
Project Editors: Deanna Ting and Noëmie Carrant
Staff Writers/ Editors: Noëmie Carrant, David Paw, Deanna Ting
Contributors: Lenore T. Adkins, Marcelle G Afram, Steven Alvarez, Tiffany Carter, Pao Houa Her, Ben Hon, Wonho Frank Lee, Erin Ng, Farrah Skeiky, James Tir, Yia Vang
Photo/Art/Design: Tania Bou Samra
Managing Editor: Jon Bonné
Editorial Director: Paolo Lucchesi
Community Series Illustrations and Logo: Luis Mendo