We’ve been reading, listening, and learning more about anti-black racism, and reflecting on how we at the SOBDL can continue to create and foster inclusive spaces while working alongside, supporting, and partnering with folx from marginalized communities, particularly those who have been underrepresented in the craft beer world. We acknowledge that, while we have always prided ourselves on creating safe spaces, giving back to the community through donations, and working with a diverse group of volunteers and vendors, there is always more to learn and more action to take.
Both co-owners are hetero, white women and therefore come from a place of privilege in many ways. We strive to be authentic allies, understanding that allyship is an ongoing process and we’re grateful for the opportunity to learn, listen and grow as individuals and together as an organization. Being silent is not OK.
We have always been leaders in shaking up the beer industry in Ontario and want to continue to be leaders by fostering diversity, inclusivity, and anti-racism initiatives. Black, Indigenous, and all People of Colour’s lives matter. LGBTQ+ folx lives matter. These values have always been at the heart of our organization, but we know it’s not enough to simply hold these values, we need to be explicit and vocal about them.
We want to make sure you know what we’re all about: what we DO & what we’re committed to DOING. We’re in it for the long haul. As our friend Meoshi aka @craftbeerphoenix said “This is a marathon, not a
sprint.” With that being said, here is our ‘starting line:
ON THE GROUND: AT BEVIES & FESTIVALS
- Ensure we are promoting and fostering a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment at all of our events. Be clear that we have a zero-tolerance policy for racism and discrimination of any kind.
- Add an inclusivity statement to our Volunbeer sign up sheet to encourage a diverse range of applicants.
- Implement an anonymous survey after each event asking volunteers and participants how they felt in our space, to share concerns, and what we can do to improve the experience.
- Continue to hire and partner with womxn of colour as vendors, security, DJ’s, performers, photographers, etc. and ensure we are mindful of the communities we are reflecting in our programming.
- Continue to recognize and honour Indigenous communities with a land acknowledgement at every event. Take the lead from Indigenous womxn in our community to share more context around the
importance of not just reading an acknowledgement, but honouring and understanding why.
OUR COLLABS & PARTNERSHIPS
- Actively broaden our pool of collaborators and in particular, seek out businesses owned/operated by BIPOC for our events and our online shop.
- Build partnerships with groups focused on supporting and empowering BIPOC womxn and non-binary folx, invite their communities to our events and look for other meaningful collaborations.
- Brew a more diverse range of beer with our collab partners, using a variety of international ingredients and beer styles. Ensure these ingredients are fair trade and sustainably farmed. Honour and learn about the land and the culture they are from.
OUR DIGITAL PLATFORMS: LEARNING & SHARING
- Update the mission statement on our website to reflect our anti-racist and anti-discrimination values.
- Update the pride flag on our website, newsletter, and any updated promotional material to recognize the unique intersectional experiences of people of colour within the LGBTQ+ community.
- Commit to putting together a database of North American breweries owned by BIPOC, womxn or LGBTQ+ folx, and hosting this resource on our website.
- Commit to including more BIPOC focused resources, businesses, and organizations in our social media posts and in our weekly Society Scoop newsletter.
OUR DONATIONS & COMMUNITY SUPPORT
- Continue to make charitable donations to the Canadian Women’s Foundation in support of their varied programs for diverse women across the country with a portion of our event ticket sales and all bar tips.
- Use our beer collabs, special swag items and smaller events to support a wider range of organizations that focus on specific marginalized communities. Actively look for opportunities to support grassroots and community organizations.
We are committed to keeping the conversation going both internally and externally on how to actively support anti-racism and anti-discriminatory efforts. It is important to not just put this out there and then not follow through. As such, we will hold ourselves accountable and update in 6 months on the progress we’ve made.
We would like to acknowledge just some of the many voices on social media for inspiring us as we crafted this document and helping us create a point to launch from: @dreabopbop, @torisbakeshop, @rania.writes,
@workforyourbeer, @tdotdrinks, @craftbeerphoenix, @beer_diversity, @pairingwithbeer, @lushcosmetics
This is a working document and we are always open to suggestions.
Cheers & thanks for your support.
Our Committee Members
SOBDL Staff Involved
She / Her
Back in 2013, Erica had the brilliant idea (in the shower of course) to create a secret society of beer loving ladies in Toronto. Having just joined the beer world she chatted up some like minded women and the rest, as they say, is history!
Jaime’s background in graphic design, party planning and beer infused cupcake creation has prepared her for favourite job yet - running the SOBDL! After joining the craft beer industry working in events and sales, she teamed up with Erica to launch the very first Bevy in 2014.
Shannon illustrated her commitment to SOBDL early on by trekking in from Mississauga to volunteer! Soon, she found her passion in the Swag Shop and in 2017 came on board to manage it, overseeing orders, pop-ups and the bevy booth.
Nancy Kim is a Toronto based lifestyle and fashion photographer who goes by the moniker NSBKIM (an acronym of her full name including her Korean name). With a keen eye for capturing just the right moment, she strives to bring out the best possible energy in her subjects.
Amber is a craft beer writer and marketer who curates a list of people, places and things that are inspiring her and the SOBDL. Recipes, new breweries to check out, podcasts we’re loving, must-try beers, stories of women generally doing awesome things.
Michelle has been enjoying all things SOBDL since August 2015. In Jan 2018, Michelle was brought on board to manage all things social media for SOBDL. From her wicked technological skills to her charming personality, Michelle has been hyping up Society in a major way.
She / Her
Jessica was an enthusiastic attendee of SOBDL's events before joining the team in 2017 as Social Media Coordinator. Armed with a strong pun game and an arsenal of emojis, Jess and her social partner-in-crime Michelle are poised to help SOBDL take over the interwebs - and then the world!
Leah is a Toronto-based freelance copywriter who has spent six years developing content for thriving boutique marketing firms. As an avid beer enthusiast and bar manager at C’est What, she joins the Society of Beer Drinking Ladies to combine her passion for writing and love of geeky beer facts as a contributor to Society Broadviews.
She / Her
Since joining the SOBDL team, Drea has assisted with creating the framework for our Inclusivity Committee. Drea works in health care and as Program Lead for "The Dandelion Initiative" and sits on the board of directors at "Rise up!" - a digital archive of feminist activism in Canada from the '70s to '90s.
Shelby began as an SOBDL volunbeer a couple years ago as she was looking to be a part of a female community. She is a self-proclaimed crazy beer enthusiast and the girl behind the beer-focused Instagram account @herhoppylife. She is now working full-time at Blood Brothers brewing in Toronto and works with the SOBDL team at pop-up swag shops and prepping the Beer Squad Mystery Boxes.
Committee Meeting Notes
Inclusivity Committee Meeting #2
Inclusivity Committee Meeting #1
Date: March 8 2021