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.
Onwards!