Can Social Media Be a Force For Good in the Food World?

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The Internet can be a tiring, noisy place. Jenny Dorsey doesn’t think that should slow you down.Her non-profit, Studio ATAO, began as a way to provoke thoughtful conversations across a dinner table, but amid the ongoing pandemic, Dorsey moved those conversations online—leaning into virtual learning series, newsletters, and social media, geared towards creating concrete resources that could be shared more widely.Enter Studio ATAO’s downloadable toolkits, which tackle everything from respectability politics to tokenization in media and structural racism in federal policies. Generated from virtual public panels and ‘Experimental Salons’—curated discussions led by restaurant industry professionals directly involved in or impacted by the subject at hand—the toolkits are part glossary, part game plan: They’re thorough, informative, and manage to address the thorniest of complex issues in a clear, careful way. I spoke to Dorsey about how to break through the performative noise of social media and use digital platforms to make meaningful change in the food world.Priya: You’re a chef by training, but in 2017, you founded Studio ATAO, an educational non-profit focused on the intersection between food, art, and social impact. What brought that initiative about?Jenny: My husband and I …

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