SACRAMENTO, Calif — Brown Skin Brunchin' is coming to the Greater Sacramento area. It's a social group geared towards creating a space for women of color by providing brunch events at restaurants and other venues each month.
Lillian Jackson and Melissa Mason founded the group in 2018. Together, they launched the first chapter in Richmond, Virginia to help bring Black women professionals together in a casual setting to promote sisterhood.
Brown Skin Brunchin' has expanded to 38 cities in the U.S. and Canada. The group is now active in Sacramento too with a new chapter involving more than 70 members, volunteers and organizers.
"It's not just brunch; it's a sisterhood," said Jackson. "As I rose within my career, there were less people that looked like me and less people that could relate to me. As an adult, I didn't know how to make friends, but I wanted friends. So many other women reached out to me that needed the exact same thing. They wanted sisterhood, they wanted to network, and they wanted to do it in a fun way."
Brown Skin Brunchin' launched a new chapter in Sacramento in December 2021. After learning about the group, Chandell "CeCe" Bayas volunteered to join the grassroots organization as an event organizer. She's responsible for securing brunch venues and bringing participants together for a good time.
"It is more than brunch. It is connectedness," said Bayas. "We need more women of color to come to these safe spaces. Let's brunch. Do you like to eat? Do you like to drink? Do you like to connect? Do you need to 'woosah?' If so, come to Brown Skin Brunchin'. It is showing up for yourself to say, 'You know what? I'm ready to make some friends.' I can go to brunch with all my other beautiful sisters of other nationalities and we can talk about everything. But, sometimes, it's just important to be with your sisters."
Andrea Powell learned about Brown Skin Brunchin' through social media. She says she wants to build sisterhood with others, particularly, those who understand the realities of being a Black woman in America, from racism to sexism, to being the only one in the room, and everything else in-between.
"Sisterhood saves in those times of despair, in those times where we do feel alone," said Powell. "It's a safe space to go and to get wisdom from other women who have been through your situation or experience. They can actually pour into you and help you in those areas."
The Sacramento chapter of Brown Skin Brunchin' is preparing to host their first official brunch event on Saturday, January 15, 2022 at 11:30 a.m. at Sienna Restaurant in Roseville. Days after announcing the event to the public, the available seating for brunch sold out.
"We are so excited," Bayas said. "We hope to see all those amazing faces at the inaugural event. For anyone who missed out because the event was sold out, do not fret because we are here monthly and we are not going anywhere."
Brown Skin Brunchin' will be hosting events every month at restaurants and venues throughout the Greater Sacramento region and surrounding areas. The next event is set for Saturday, February 12, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. at Colo's Soul Food & Seafood Restaurant in Sacramento.
"It's a sisterhood that we're building one community at a time," Jackson said. "So, that no other woman has to have that alone feeling. There is a space for every woman to be able to come and get that cup full of sisterhood before you go back out in the world."
Brown Skin Brunchin' also has an app dedicated to social and professional networking by offering monthly brunch events. It also highlights restaurants and businesses around cities across the U.S.
The app was created in 2021 to be a one stop shop for Brown Skin Brunchin' members – current and future. It's available on Android and IOS operating systems and is free to download.
Brown Skin Brunchin' is aiming to open more chapters in at least 100 cities in the U.S. by the end of the year. If you're interested in joining the social group or participating in brunch events near you, visit the official Brown Skin Brunchin' website.