No Immigrants No Spice and New American Economy Host “BBQ Without Borders” in Oakland, California

We are excited to announce BBQ Without Borders, the Oakland, CA installment of the New American Festival, a first-of-its-kind, cross-country celebration of immigrant contributions to American food, music, dance, art and more. The BBQ will take place on Saturday, October 5 from 5 to 9 PM PST at Impact Hub Oakland. 

The event will feature immigrant chefs and a panel on the intersection of food, immigration, and community. The chefs will serve innovative riffs of their regional BBQ and entertainment will include live music, dance performances, film, and art. The event is hosted by Oakland-based No Immigrants No Spice and national immigration group New American Economy, and supported by Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Fort Point Beer Co, and Altos Tequila Olmeca. 

Tickets are available at eventbrite. Proceeds will be donated to the National Immigrant Justice Center and Pangaea Legal Services. 


Featured chefs: 

  • Ofelia Barajas and Reyna Maldonado, La Guerreras Kitchen
  • Hanif Sadr, Komaaj
  • Siska Silitonga Marcus, ChiliCali
  • Priti Narayan, Koolfi

Featured Musicians:

  • Diana Gameros
  • Rahill Jamalifard of Habibi
  • Ai$h
  • B-Side Brujas
  • Ras K’dee
  • Neel Agarwal
  • Timbeko 2 

Featured Dance Performances:

  • Gamelan Sekar Jaya
  • Cal Bhangra team
  • Meli Cruz, Flamenco
  • Ethnic street dancers


  • Comedy Central shorts film reel
  • Film premiere featuring entrepreneur Benjamin Gonzales


  • An interactive art installation on themes of trauma and support by Kate Spacek
  • Installation of “Immigrants are US” by mark tuschman


  • Interactive ethnobotany table stations exploring the history, anthropology and medicinal uses of spice
  • Map the Impact game by New American Economy

When: Saturday, October 5, 5:00-9:00 PM PST

Where: Impact Hub Oakland, 2323 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

Why: BBQ Without Borders aims to highlight the essential creativity, vitality, and dynamism that immigrants bring to American food and culture. 

This event is part of the inaugural New American Festival, a national initiative that will spotlight immigrant cultural contributions in communities across the United States. Following its debut September 14 & 15 at NeueHouse in New York, New American Economy will bring the New American Festival to cities including Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Kansas City, Nashville, Houston, and Oakland, among others.

According to New American Economy research, at just 28 percent of Oakland’s population, immigrants represent 53 percent of the food and restaurant industry overall and more than 75 percent of Oakland’s chefs and head cooks.

“Food is a common language, it is something we can use to bridge the gap and reach across the aisle to find common ground. With this event we will provide a safe space to celebrate immigrants; a place to eat something delicious, see a spectacular performance, learn something new and walk away feeling inspired and uplifted” said Dr. Vibha Gupta, founder of No Immigrants No Spice and organizer of BBQ Without Borders. 

“Immigrants play an outsize role in shaping American culture, including the vibrant food culture of Oakland,” said New American Economy’s Katherine Steinberg, who is collaborating on the festival. “BBQ Without Borders aims to build awareness and celebrate immigrants’ contribution to both the economy and culture of Oakland.”

“I am a proud sponsor of BBQ Without Borders to celebrate the rich diversity of our community. In any culture, family and friends gather together to enjoy a delicious meal together. BBQ Without Borders will be a wonderful way to bring the community together,” said Tera Eng, Regional Director, Office of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity, Kaiser Permanente Northern California.

About No Immigrants No Spice

No Immigrants No Spice (NINS) is a 501c3 nonprofit which uses food as a vector to elevate the voices and stories of immigrants. NINS utilizes photo and video storytelling and social media to reach across the aisle and bring people together around food. All proceeds from merchandise and events go to our partners who provide direct legal aid and advocacy for immigrants.

About New American Economy

New American Economy (NAE) is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization founded to educate, empower and support policymakers, influencers, and citizens across the country that see the economic and social benefits of a smart approach to immigration reform. NAE has created a coalition of civic, business, and culture leaders who span the political spectrum and represent all 50 states. NAE makes the case for smart immigration reform in three ways: 1) we use powerful research to demonstrate how immigration impacts our economy, 2) we organize champions at the grassroots and influencer levels to build support for immigration, 3) we partner with state and local leaders to advocate for policies that recognize the value immigrants add locally, and 4) we show immigrant contributions to American culture through film, food, art, sports, comedy, and more.

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About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…