When we think of Broccoli City, we automatically default to the festival stage and who will be the artist providing us with an arm-pumping, head-nodding, body-shaking experience. Now in its sixth year, Broccoli City Festival is one of the most anticipated music events in the country. But it is much bigger than the music.
Broccoli City is a social enterprise (not for profit/for profit) that roots itself in a triple bottom line strategy that focuses on people, planet, and profit.
The team behind the enterprise is working to “redefine the cool” towards people being active and engaged participants in their community. The festival is only a piece of this.
Broccoli City has a mission to build thriving urban communities that sustain future generations by mobilizing and educating urban millennials through social impact campaigns and major events. Through programs it is are creating higher standards of sustainable living, environmental sustainability, renewable energy, economic opportunity, and access to high quality food and shelter.
Rolling out had the opportunity to get inside the heart of Broccoli City through one of its founders Brandon McEachern. We discussed community success, lessons learned over the last six years, and advice for men of color pursuing their goals.
When did the idea for Broccoli Festival come about?
The idea of BCFEST came about because we wanted to educate folks without being preachy. The best way to do that was by incorporating music and fun to engage people and then slap them with some education and tips of living better lives.
What have been the biggest lessons learned over the six years of existence?
People want what they want. No matter how positive you want to be, you still need to give folks what they want. But don’t jeopardize your mission either.
How is the mission of Broccoli City Festival living throughout the year?
We are all about the community and engaging the people within it. We have serval community programs that happen throughout the year. But we are mainly focused on volunteering and getting the younger generation motivated to give back to their communities.
We’ve created an app called CHIP N, which allows people to find volunteer opportunities then get rewarded for time. There is a marketplace on the app where you can earn things like gift cards, tickets to events, gas cards, and more.
What does community success look like to you
Everybody being active. Talking brings poverty and action brings success. Let’s get active.
Why is BCFEST different from other festival events?
It is different because of the people. There is a certain type of individual that attends BCFEST and it makes all the difference. This will be our second year doing our conference, as well. We created the Broccoli Con(ference) for young people to come learn, engage, and network. In addition, we do a 5K run and a fitness day.
What key pieces of advice can you give to young men of color to pursue and chase their dreams?
I would say just keep going. Know that a diamond is a piece of coal that just stuck it out. So don’t stop. Stick to it.
BC Community work: