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I'm a queer black woman. This is how you can help me feel safe in Trump's America.

'Let your whispering become a violent roar. Let us know that you won’t leave us to fight alone.'

I am a black, queer woman.

And on election night in America, I was made perfectly aware of just how much many Americans are not ready for me.

In all honesty, I am not truly surprised by this election's outcome — hatred has always been embedded in the fabric of this country's design. America has never been the one to admit its faults. I often feel like we believe that if we don’t talk about a problem, then there won’t be a problem. As George Santayana, a Spanish philosopher, once said, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

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Courtesy of Chef El-Amin
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When non-essential businesses in NYC were ordered to close in March, restaurants across the five boroughs were tasked to pivot fast or risk shuttering their doors for good.

The impact on the city's once vibrant restaurant scene was immediate and devastating. A national survey found that 250,000 people were laid off within 22 days and almost $2 billion in revenue was lost. And soon, numerous restaurant closures became permanent as the pandemic raged on and businesses were unable to keep up with rent and utility payments.

Hot Bread Kitchen, a New York City-based nonprofit and incubator that has assisted more than 275 local businesses in the food industry, knew they needed to support their affiliated businesses in a new light to navigate the financial complexities of shifting business models and applying for loans.

According to Hot Bread Kitchen's CEO Shaolee Sen, shortly after the shutdown began, a third of restaurant workers that they support had been laid off and another third were furloughed.

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