Jul 12, 2021
Kiki Louya is a disruptor in an industry she loves and is determined to transform. She started working in restaurants at 15, learning every aspect of the business, eventually graduating from culinary school, becoming an executive chef and a restaurant owner. That journey included first-hand experience with injustices that are prevalent in restaurant life, from racial discrimination to sexual harassment and wage theft. And it propelled her into a more activist role within the industry. In 2018, Kiki became the first executive director of Restaurant Workers Community Foundation, which invests in nonprofits that serve and advocate for workers and organizes those in the industry, from managers to servers and cooks in determining how to fix broken systems. RWCF raised and distributed $7 million in relief funds for workers, including those not eligible for unemployment benefits and those struggling with mental health challenges. Most importantly, Kiki is energizing a powerful network of people and organizations who share a vision. They want to see businesses and the people who fuel them thrive.