Xavier Mason has faith in the power of food.
The 23-year-old is part of a group of Alaskans working to organize a walking tour of Mountain View restaurants; a chance for neighbors and strangers to share meals and explore the neighborhood.
Called Taste of Mountain View, the idea was conceived by members of the Sierra Club and the NAACP Anchorage Youth Council. The Jan. 18 event is still in the planning stages. The details have yet to be finalized. But when it all comes together, Mason says, it’ll strengthen a community he’s been part of for years.
While he lives in Muldoon, he’s a volunteer mentor for a Mountain View scholarship preparatory program. His little brother went to school in Mountain View. His parents once owned property here, and many Youth Council members still call the neighborhood home.
“We all live in Mountain View, or we’re here all the time, and sometimes there can be negative stigmas,” Mason said. “What we’re trying to do is break those stigmas down.”
Stigmas can push people away, he says, but food can draw them in.