Pinky Cole, the renowned Founder, CEO, and visionary behind Slutty Vegan ATL, Bar Vegan, and The Pinky Cole Foundation, will deliver Clark Atlanta University’s Commencement address on May 14, 2022. Pinky is a celebrated graduate of CAU, and was named Miss Clark Atlanta University while she attended in 2009. She will become the youngest speaker in CAU history to deliver the revered commencement address.
Recently featured on the cover of Essence Magazine, Pinky is known for changing the world with her vegan comfort food, philanthropy and activism, being profiled on CNN, The New York Times, People Magazine, Forbes and more. As founder of The Pinky Cole Foundation, she works to provide a roadmap for Black economic progress, which is achieved by creatively leveraging economic opportunities, successful risk-taking and innovation. She is not only a now-legendary businesswoman in Atlanta, but a prominent voice, brand and inspiration across the country.
Pinky says, “I am thrilled to be able to come back to my alma matter to speak to the students 13 years after graduation. To be the youngest orator tells me this is a dream come true for me!”
“It is a full-circle moment to have Ms. Aisha “Pinky” Cole serve as Clark Atlanta University’s 2022 Commencement Orator. We are excited that “Pinky,” as we affectionately call her, will serve her alma matter in this capacity,” said CAU President George T. French Jr., Ph.D. “She is a loyal and dedicated ambassador for CAU, making it known that she is a proud graduate at every opportunity. She is a consistent financial supporter and has helped many students continue their matriculation through graduation. We look forward to hearing her inspiring message to our scholars as we utilize this final opportunity of preparing them to conquer the world.”
Dedicated to reinventing vegan food culture, Slutty Vegan’s crave-worthy, indulgent menus and joyful customer interactions draw locals and visitors to eagerly wait in now-infamous lines down the block for vegan burgers and more. Sluttified fans include celebrities Snoop Dogg, Justin Timberlake, Jermaine Dupri, Taraji P. Henson, Tyler Perry, Tiffany Haddish, Queen Latifah and many more. Pinky also announced her highly anticipated first cookbook Eat Plants, B*tch, published by Simon & Schuster imprint 13A.
In addition to making national headlines for her 100% vegan comfort food concepts, Pinky Cole has made a name for her passionate activism. She launched PETA’s Push for Food Justice, worked to provide life insurance policies to 25,000 Black men, paid rent for local businesses in need and covered the full tuition of 30 Clark Atlanta students. Pinky also purchased a car and life insurance for the family of Rayshard Brooks, who was slain by police outside an Atlanta fast-food restaurant. Working, serving and giving are all part of Pinky’s design.
Pinky Cole becomes part of an extraordinary lineup of CAU Commencement Speakers, including Stacey Abrams, voting rights activist who served in the Georgia House of Representatives, Jeffrey Lurie, owner of the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL, Ron Shaich, Founder and long-time CEO of Panera Bread Company, Mary Frances Berry, American historian, lawyer and activist focusing on the U.S. Constitution and African-American history, and Hauwa Ibrahim, a Nigerian human rights lawyer and winner of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize.
Clark Atlanta University
was formed with the consolidation of Atlanta University and Clark College, both of which hold unique places in the annals of African-American history. Atlanta University, established in 1865 by the American Missionary Association, was the nation’s first institution to award graduate degrees to African-Americans. Clark College, established four years later in 1869, was the nation’s first four-year liberal arts college to serve a primarily African-American student population. Today, with nearly 4,000 students, CAU is the largest of the four institutions (CAU, Morehouse College, Spelman College and Morehouse School of Medicine) that comprise the Atlanta University Center Consortium.