Dr. Lakeysha “Key” Hallmon is a social entrepreneur, speaker and passionate educator with a vision to change the world. As a Mississippi native, Dr. Key grew up seeing the benefits of community.  “Growing up there were times when I would see neighbors in my community bartering, trading and working together to get what they need from each other,” she said.

Dr. Key has not gone away from her roots. She truly understands how important it is to look out for one another and use what each of us have been given individually to make a difference communally. Her mission is to be a change maker and bring light to topics such as entrepreneurship and community development. Dr. Key also has a passion for plant based food and nutrition.

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“Each of us must dedicate ourselves to serving the good of our people. We are community. Our fate and futures are interconnected. If we act in oneness and in the spirit of togetherness not only can we survive, we can thrive.” – Dr. Key Hallmon

“So many people in our community don’t know how important it is to be mindful of your diet. It’s my goal to bring light to this very important issue.”

Dr. Key’s passion for community, food and entrepreneurship lead her to create the Village Market ATL. The initiative was born after Dr. Key noticed that there were many entrepreneurs looking for an opportunity to showcase their talents and businesses. The Village Market ATL is an extravaganza connecting elements of plant based foods, art and live performance to support local artisans. The event takes place quarterly in Atlanta.

“It is truly a magical experience when you see people come together, support one another and leave having a deeper appreciation for plant-based food who may have never heard of this kind of produce,” she said.

The first Village Market event took place in April of 2016 welcoming over 500 guests and showcased over 30 different, minority-owned businesses. Dr. Key says that the selection process of which entrepreneurs she and her team choose to showcase is “selective and intentional” ensuring that the business owners align with the Village Market’s mission.

Today The Village Market hosts over 75 entrepreneurs with crowds of close to 2,500.

“We want to expand the mission with more market events and maybe even do pop up shops across the country.”

Dr. Key takes pride in the ability to bring together business owners and raise consciousness in the black community. With the dedication and work Dr. Key has done it is clear that she is a powerhouse for good. We here at HBCU Buzz are deeply interested to see what the Village Market does next.

To learn more about this initiative you can follow their website at www.thevillagemarketatl.com you can also follow them on their Instagram and Facebook page @thevillagemarketatl.