What is Beef and a Toast?
By Diana Zeng of Full Circle. EQ asked her to tell us what Beef and a Toast is about, and why Full Circle started it.
Beef and a Toast was born out of frustration. Frustration with the fact that as students and twenty-something, we’re told that the problems in St. Louis are “over there.” Or that they aren’t that bad. Or that things are so bad that we should get out as soon as possible.
Every city has its issues and opportunities, and St. Louis is no different. For those of us who fell in love with this red-bricked gem of a city, we realized that St. Louis has a lot to offer and so do we. Enter Full Circle: a nonprofit startup that connects young talent to St. Louis to build a more economically vibrant city.
Our founding team at Full Circle consists of WashU, SLU, Mizzou, Webster and Illinois College alums from four countries: the U.S., the U.K., Indonesia and China. In a lot of ways, we represent the potential that can be captured here from locals and newcomers alike.
On one side, we have a pool of young, energetic talent who want to make an impact in the real world, and on the other, we have real issues that need more engagement. It made sense to connect the two.
With the encouragement of Travis Sheridan and Venture Café, we began piloting Beef And A Toast at their Thursday night gatherings by bringing together students and young talent for honest and intimate discussions with social entrepreneurs and community leaders. We were able to make each event better from our feedback surveys and quickly grew to need more space. Moving forward, the event location will be based on the topic of conversation.
Our upcoming Beef And A Toast: Be A Young Change-Maker, is set for Wednesday, September 28th Downtown at T-REX. In the midst of this election year, we wanted to draw attention to how national and global politics stem from local communities that pave the way for change.
The panelists include Lindy Drew, co-founder and storyteller of Humans of St. Louis, Jake Hollander, founder of St. Louis Strong, and Caroline Fan, President of OCA, St. Louis. Their different backgrounds emphasize how you can make an impact no matter your background, be it photography, social work, politics or technology.
The discussion will reflect on the roles that storytelling, entrepreneurship, and advocacy play in engaging and empowering communities.
After the panel, attendees will have a chance to meet other young people from different backgrounds during small group discussions. Young Friends of Downtown partnered with us to bring this event to more young professionals and creatives in the city too.
We wanted to host this before the voter registration deadline, and OCA, St. Louis has offered to set up registration at the event. By taking ownership of the issues, we aim to connect young people with organizations making a difference in the region and opportunities to be a part of St. Louis.
Beef and a Toast is free but spots are limited. Let’s discuss our beef with St. Louis and toast to being part of the solution.