By Andre Jones
Emerging talent Issa Rae and singer Solange Knowles teamed up to host a fundraiser to help a struggling Black business keep its doors open.
Rae and Knowles joined forces Friday to help out one of their favorite restaurants, My Two Cents, an Los Angeles-based soul food restaurant owned by chef Alisa Reynolds. The restaurant is facing a $130,000 debt stemming from a lawsuit. As a result, Reynolds created a GoFundMe campaign last month in order to raise the money she needs to stay in business.
“For the past two years, I have suffered in silence because of a legal battle. Honestly, I am facing the biggest obstacle of my professional life.” Reynolds wrote on her GoFundMe page. “If I do not raise $130,000 by August 15, 2017, I may no longer be able to continue working at 2 Cents LA,” Reynolds explained.
After hearing Reynold’s plea for help, Rae and Solanges proceeded to organize a dinner and fundraiser at an undisclosed location in order to help Reynolds save her restaurant. “CO-HOSTING A BENEFIT TO SAVE ONE OF MY FAVORITE RESTAURANTS. JOIN ME, MELINA, SOLANGE & KELLY ROWLAND THIS FRIDAY!”, Rae tweeted last week.
“My challenge is from individuals that originally backed my expertise,” Reynolds explained on her GoFundMe campaign. Apparently, former colleagues have filed suit against Reynolds and it appears that the judgement in the suit did not go in her favor.
Without going into specifics, Reynolds tried to explain her legal dilemma on her fundraising page, “The work that I do and the level of proficiency that I employ, took time to perfect. Unfortunately, some of my early backers misunderstood the culinary process and decided to sue me. I have spent all of my money and also repeatedly tried to resolve this matter peacefully. However, this fight will only end if I settle this lawsuit for $111,000.”
The event, called “Wind And Grind”, co-sponsored by Solange’s company Saint Heron, also boasted celebrity hosts Kelly Rowland and Melina Matsouka, and was attended by industry heavyweights Beyonce, Jay-Z, Earl Sweatshirt, and Tyler the Creator. The event was intended to “bring together community to support the imprint chef Alisa has cultivated through food, love, and fellowship,” as Cassius Life described.
Attendee Jessica Washington told HuffPost, “Saint Heron’s Wine and Grind was a magical night I’ll always cherish. The room was filled with genuine love and support for Chef Alisa, and a reminder of how powerful sisterhood can be when we all come together to uplift one another.”
All proceeds from the sold-out event will go to My Two Cents. The amount that was raised has not yet been disclosed.