This has been a particularly difficult and emotional time for many of us, particularly for our Black and Brown employees and communities. We all know the coffee industry in the United States is overwhelmingly white. I cannot imagine how weird it must be for a Black person working in this industry. Royal is committed to doing our part to dismantle systemic racism and address the power dynamics which allow police officers to kill unarmed black people. We are a business, but we exist and conduct commerce in the same communities currently going through massive upheavals. To remain silent and pretend nothing is happening really isn’t an option.
With that said, words are ultimately a hollow gesture, especially on social media. We are taking this time to listen. We are currently holding meetings to solidify plans and avenues of work for change and create a strategic plan, including company wide diversity and inclusion training, with timelines for implementation and execution. It’s time to get to work.
As a first step, we’ve made a donation to Campaign Zero on behalf of all Royal employees, an organization using a research-based approach to comprehensive policy changes to the way police serve our communities.
As a second step, we are using our platform to amplify the voices of Black coffee professionals to have overdue conversations that will be instrumental in moving us forward as a company, and therefore an industry. We hope that you will join our Director of Roasting, Candice Madison and award-winning author and President of BD Imports, Phyllis Johnson, for a June 18th webinar examining the current state of affairs for Black professionals in the specialty coffee industry and exploring the question posed in her award-winning 2018 article “Strong Black Coffee” published in Roast Magazine: why are there so few prominent African-Americans in our industry? Join us. Spread the word. Update: You can view all of our Race and Specialty Coffee webinar series here.
A big thanks to Sandra Elisa Loofbourow, The Crown’s Tasting Room Director, for compiling these resources to aid us in our mission to listen, learn, and help:
Resources for Donating:
People’s Breakfast Oakland – @peoplesbreakfastoakland
Help Black Owned Businesses Rebuild @sooakland
East Oakland Collective @eastoaklandcollective
Anti Police Terror Project @antipoliceterrorproject
Campaign Zero @campaignzero
Black Visions MN @blackvisionscollective
Black Earth Farms @blackearthfarms
Resources for Protesting:
Resources for Black folks:
People’s Breakfast Oakland – bail funds
Inclusive Therapists: Reduced/Free Therapy Available
Me And White Supremacy, Layla F Saad
History of White People, Nell Irvin Painter
How to be an Antiracist, Ibram X Kendi
Killing the Black Body, Dorothy E Parker
So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo
The Great Unlearn, Rachel Cargle
Rachel Cargle’s Revolution Playlist