Photo of Pinky Cole and D. Hayes
Square 1 Initiative: The Liife Experience

The goal of the initiative is to portray Black men in the correct light, redefine the role of the Black man in today’s divisive climate and validate why this matters.

Rising Restaurateurs Partner to Provide Life Insurance to 25,000 Black Men

Two of Atlanta’s fastest-growing restaurateurs, Pinky Cole, CEO and Founder of Slutty Vegan ATL, and D. Hayes, President and CEO of Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks, are merging their philanthropic endeavors yet again. The Pinky Cole Foundation and The David & Derrick Hayes Foundation are spearheading Square 1: The Liife Experience, a program with an initiative to provide life insurance policies by December 2023 to 25,000 Black men. Eligible participants must be individuals who are between the ages 15-45, earn $30,000 or less annually, and do not use tobacco. 

Cole and Hayes first joined forces in June 2020 in response to the fatal shooting in Atlanta of Rayshard Brooks. The two entrepreneurs surprised Brooks’ widow, Tomika Miller, with life insurance policies for her family, a new car, and scholarships to Clark Atlanta University for Brooks’ four children through a partnership with the university (Cole is an alumna). In the United States, Black men disproportionately suffer from poor health and high crime more than other racial groups. As a group, Black men have the lowest life expectancy and highest death rate from specific causes compared to both men and women of other racial and ethnic groups. Now, Cole and Hayes are growing their mission in order to provide life insurance policies supporting more families.

Eligible participants can visit sign-up events in Atlanta at the following dates and locations:

Saturday, June 12, 1-4pm

Slutty Vegan Edgewood

476 Edgewood Ave SE

Atlanta, GA 30312

Thursday, June 17, 1-4pm

Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks

57 Forsyth St NW Suite 63

Atlanta, GA 30303

For those who can not attend, the application will be available online via this page.

“As a Black woman and entrepreneur, it is my duty to build up and equip the Black man,” says Pinky Cole, CEO and Founder of Slutty Vegan ATL. “We established this campaign to create better lives for Black men and their families by providing life insurance and mental health treatment in underserved communities. It is another way we are collectively using our platforms to pour into the communities in which we serve.” 

“While growing up in West Philly, I witnessed people put together fish frys and create GoFundMe pages to pay for their loved one’s funerals,” says D. Hayes, President and CEO of Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks. “I vowed to change that narrative with this program. Now I’m able to provide resources and benefits such as life insurance policies and mental health programs. I am sure we will bridge the wealth gap and strengthen the Black community with this campaign.” 

The goal of the Square 1 initiative is to portray Black men in the correct light, redefine the role of the Black man in today’s divisive climate and validate why this matters. Plans call for nationwide awareness centered around financial literacy in conjunction with mental health and wellness. Square 1: The Liife Experience Campaign represents a long-term model that actively introduces the importance of having life insurance and routine mental health and wellness screenings with supporting partners Kaleidoscope Therapy for Black Families Fund and Seviin Yoga.

“It’s time to show the Black man some Black love,” says Lae Cole, Program Director of The Pinky Cole Foundation, which focuses on empowering generations of color to win in life, financially, and in the pursuit of their entrepreneurial dreams. “Instead of taking their lives, we are putting life back into the Black man with this initiative. Our goal is to reach the Black man, advance the Black man, and build and protect the Black man, without delay.”

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News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by WTWH Media LLC.