In Search of the Best Comfort Food Recipes, According to Y’all

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

As the days get shorter—and in many parts of the world, the weather gets colder—people gather to celebrate. There’s something for everyone this time of year, like Diwali, the Thanksgivings (both Canadian and American), Hanukkah, and Christmas.  

For many, if you’re lucky and don’t fight with your family (or even if you do), it’s a time to contemplate faith, love, tradition, and to take a grateful breath together.

So, in a very special and ambitious edition of “According to Y’all,”—an occasional feature that taps the collective wisdom of the greatest audience in newsletter history—we’re asking for you to share the holiday comfort food dishes that mean the most to you, whatever the dish may be. It’s up to your interpretation. If you can, please include a photo, recipe, and/or the story of why it matters to you. 

Post a photo, a recipe, and/or your story on Instagram and use the hashtag #fortunefeast so we can track the gratitude. Or, email them to We might feature your dish in raceAhead.

American Thanksgiving is a good place to start, but don’t sleep on Hannukah, Christmas, even New Year’s Eve. 

And I don’t want leave out Ramadan, Yom Kippur, and any other holiday where food plays a special role in your life, even if the timing isn’t perfect. Everyone has a celebration, and every dish tells a story. 

Consider this a very special request from Team raceAhead. In a world that feels divided, we hope the shared experience of gratitude for traditional fare will be fulfilling emotional feast. Maybe, we can even feed some others along the way. We will be working behind the scenes to make sure all sorts of people, including those celebrating their first American Thanksgivings, are in the mix.

Our dream is to ultimately turn the posts into a book, and share the proceeds with an organization that addresses food insecurity for underserved kids in the U.S. We’ll get your input on that, too.

(And a special shout-out to our boss, who is first learning about this project in this newsletter.)


Ellen McGirt


On Point

At Syracuse University, a racist manifesto makes the rounds It appeared on a Greek life-related forum, and shared onto some students phones. And spouted racist propaganda that included a "right-wing conspiracy theory that predicts white genocide at the hands of minority groups," says the New York Times. It’s the latest in a series of concerning events at the university that have taken place over the last two weeks—racist vandalism and graffiti, and hate speech targeted at Black and Asian students. In one incident, which prompted the suspension of all fraternity social activities due to member involvement, a group of students harassed a female Black student, and used a racial slur. It has "triggered a panic," says one student. Sporting events have been paused, some teachers have cancelled classes, and students are staying in their dorms.
New York Times

lizzo grammy nods web version
Lizzo performs at Palladium on Nov. 13, 2019, in Cologne, Germany.
Jeremy Moeller—Redferns via Getty Images

Lizzo leads the 2020 Grammy's nominations Her eight nominations include best new artist, song of the year for “Truth Hurts,” and album of the year for Cuz I Love You. Other best album nods include, among others, H.E.R.’s I Used to Know Her, Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next, and Lil Nas X’s EP of eight songs, 7. Lil Nas X is also up for six awards, including record of the year for the record-breaking “Old Town Road.”

World, welcome a new country (maybe) Bougainville will be voting on whether to declare independence or obtain more autonomy from Papua New Guinea in a poll from 23 November to 3 December. Expectations are that most (three-quarters) will vote for independence, says the BBC. The island group has a history that “includes colonial exploitation, attempts at independence, a nine-year war, and a gradual peace process.” Click through for more on its history, and a breakdown on the referendum, and what it means. 

Tackling A.I. bias “is a process” This according to IBM Research’s A.I. ethics chief Francesca Rossi, who recently spoke at the Fortune Global Forum in Paris on addressing racial and gender bias in A.I. There isn’t a “moment where you check something and you’re done,” Rossi said. Every part of the process is vulnerable to “unconscious bias.” And it's going to require the input of much more than A.I. researchers to find solutions. It will need "a very multidisciplinary context and a very multi-stakeholder context," she says. 

On Background

A look at New York City’s growing homeless student population The number of homeless students in the city has increased by 70% in the last decade. And for the 114,085 students without a home, “[s]chool is the only stable place they know,” says the New York Times. In this interactive feature, the Times follows two of them. Eight-year-old Darnell, who lives in a homeless shelter 15 miles away from school, and 10-year-old Sandivel, who shares one bedroom with her four brothers and mother, and has moved seven times in five years.
New York Times

Inside the “movement to decolonize design” Instead of learning about the impact of Indian designers in school, says graphic designer Shiva Nallaperumal, design students often have to learn about designers with “no relevance to us culturally or technically.” The western-centric approach is one that stems from the country’s colonial history, reports Dezeen, and in areas like architecture and urban planning, the “top-down” approach is visible. But there’s been a movement by designers to counter that approach with designs that "document and share Indian visual culture." And it's happening within the larger context of a national conversation on decolonization.

A new report highlights the difficult working conditions for those in sanitation In one case, a worker had to go down to the sewers to cut the carcass of a cow that was causing a blockage. And, for protection from rats and snakes, all he was given was a gun. It’s a case that even shocked the researchers behind this recent report, by the World Health Organization, the World Bank Group, and the International Labour Organization. The researchers interviewed 19 workers across nine countries in an attempt to highlight the issue, and brings light to the plights of people who are often seen as "second-class citizens."

Ella Fitzgerald performing web version
Ella Fitzgerald performing at Mr. Kelly's nightclub.
Yale Joel—The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

The start of a jazz legend's career On this day in 1934, after a lucky draw, a 17-year-old Ella Fitzgerald stepped onto the Apollo Amateur Night stage. She was a dancer, but at the last minute, she decided to sing. Her first try would not go well. But, after some encouragement from host Ralph Cooper, she went for a second try—and “brought the house down.” 

Tamara El-Waylly helps write and produce raceAhead.


“People do things in so many different ways here. I was surprised that there’s a holiday that everyone celebrates.”

Mayada Anjari, a Syrian refugee to the U.S., on her journey to prepare her first Thanksgiving meal.


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