When Alabama passed a near-total abortion ban on May 15, wine bar owner Lauren Friel responded: Her Somerville spot, Rebel Rebel, would donate 100 percent of rosé sales to the Yellowhammer Fund, which provides financial support to women seeking abortions at one of that state’s three clinics.
“What’s happening in places like Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri is ramping up people’s fears and awareness of what’s going on in this country,” Friel says. “Not just involving women and women’s reproductive rights, but generally — the kind of recklessness politicians are engaging in.”
Soon, with the help of women-owned marketing agency Isenberg Projects, a hashtag was born — #roseforresistance — along with a GoFundMe campaign. As of Thursday, Friel says, Rebel Rebel had raised more than $18,500 selling $12 glasses of rose, an effort that will continue through Memorial Day. The GoFundMe campaign has already exceeded its $25,000 goal.
Distributors joined in, too, donating the wine. More than 20 restaurants, bars, and other local businesses are now participating, from Coppa to Formaggio to Talulla. (Find a list and more information here. isenbergprojects.com/roseforresistance/)
The hospitality community is also raising funds for other organizations that work to ensure abortion access. Feminist organization The Cauldron hosts a sold-out benefit for the National Network of Abortion Funds at Rebel Rebel on May 28.
And it wouldn’t be fund-raising without a bake sale: On Memorial Day, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., the Stand With Planned Parenthood Bake Sale will offer $5 treats at Rebel Rebel. Eighteen local bakers are confirmed to participate, including Joanne Chang of Flour, Renae Connolly of Benedetto, Kate Holowchik of Chickadee, and Rebecca Roth Gullo of Blackbird Doughnuts. There will be offerings such as sesame chocolate miso cookies from Pagu’s Tracy Chang, spiced turmeric pie with raspberries and Aleppo peanut popcorn from Sofra’s Maura Kilpatrick, and rhubarb almond cobbler from SRV’s Meghan Thompson, according to organizers Nicole Kanner of All Heart PR and Alyssa Mikiko DiPasquale of Cushman Concepts.
“There’s a serious threat to our reproductive rights,” says Kanner. “This is something that Alyssa and I have both done throughout our careers in hosting events like this for many purposes, for fun or for a cause. And we knew we could whip something together and rally support of a lot of dynamic women in our food community and make some noise while raising money for a cause we all collectively believe is really important and doing incredible work.”
This year thus far, eight states have passed laws imposing strict new limits on abortion, all potential threats to Roe v. Wade. In a town where many of our most celebrated and successful chefs are women, it is no surprise to see the industry coming together to support reproductive rights.
Rebel Rebel, 1 Bow Market Way, Union Square, Somerville, www.rebelrebelsomerville.com