wealth inequality

4 Suns flourishes at Main and Dodge

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A colorful mural brightens the wall in 4 Suns Fresh Juice (RoundTable photo)

Immediately upon walking into 4 Suns Fresh Juice, patrons are enveloped by colorful murals, friendly staff, and the sweet smell of sandalwood incense. At only seven months old, the juicery is an oasis of wellness, vitality, and the creativity of Black artists. 

On Dec. 4, 2020, Gabrielle J. Walker, a captivating woman with a big heart and ambitious desire to provide for her community, opened 4 Suns. Throughout her life, Ms. Walker said, she watched many of her loved ones pass away from preventable disease, leading her to become aware of the many physical benefits of a plant-based diet.  

“I know that it’s very hard for many of us who are creatures of habit to totally switch how we eat for wellness, because we love good-tasting foods that may not always be healthful. But what I saw was a lack of healthful resources around and at our convenience – like you would find fast food,” said Ms. Walker. “When I did find it, it was predominantly in neighborhoods that were not predominantly Black and Brown.”

According to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, 19% of Evanston residents are at risk of food insecurity, which is defined as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life.” This number is high compared to the national average, which is predicted to be almost 13% throughout 2021. Further, Black and Brown people are disproportionately affected. As projected by Feeding America, 21% of Black individuals will experience food insecurity this year, compared to only 11% of white individuals. Based on a long history of systemic racism and wealth inequality, Evanston is no exception.  

Located at 1906 Main St., 4 Suns is not exactly in the middle of a culinary mecca. However, the placement of the juicery was nothing short of intentional. 

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