The Brewers Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Event Grants Program is becoming the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Mini-Grants Program, and is now accepting funding proposals for media production projects and educational and training initiatives in addition to events.
The program change comes on the heels of a year-long pause due to COVID-19 and a compressed 2021 grant cycle. “Though funding events has been a successful approach, we recognize that there are more ways that we can support the work of those around the country who are fostering greater diversity in the craft brewing community,” said Alana Koenig-Busey, who serves as the DEI Mini-Grants Program Director. “COVID-19 has shifted how we approach face-to-face events forever. People have had to get creative about how to engage people and deliver meaningful experiences. These changes to our grant program will help us evolve with the changing times.”
Since its inception in 2019, the grants program has provided more than $80,000 in grant funds to event organizers around the country who have thoughtfully and intentionally promoted and fostered a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive craft beer community. “Having to suspend the program after approving a wonderful slate of 2020 grant proposals was heartbreaking,” said Brewers Association Equity and Inclusion Partner, J Jackson-Beckham. “I’m proud of the fact that we were able to fund so many of the 2020 grant awardees that held proposed events in 2021.”
Under the revised guidelines of the DEI Mini-Grants program, the Brewers Association Philanthropy and Outreach Subcommittee will accept proposals for events that will take place during the 2022 calendar year, media production projects that will be substantially produced during 2022, and training and educational programs that will be developed and/or executed during 2022. All proposals will be evaluated for how closely they align with the following strategic goals:
- Increase access to and responsible appreciation of craft beer for underrepresented populations and those who have experienced barriers to accessing the broader craft brewing community.
- Promote employment and ownership opportunities in the craft brewing community for members of underrepresented populations and those in the craft brewing community who have experienced barriers to access and advancement.
- Celebrate the diversity of the craft brewing community and increase the visibility of underrepresented groups and experiences.
- Develop the cultural competence and increase the adoption of diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices among members of the broader craft brewing community.
- Leverage the strengths of the craft brewing community to fight injustice, eliminate disparities, and provide solutions to an array of challenges that impact those who produce and enjoy craft beer.
“For the most part, the program guidelines will not be changing,” said Jennie Olson, accountant for Arryved, Certified Cicerone®, and chair of the Philanthropy and Outreach Subcommittee. The subcommittee will evaluate proposals on a rolling basis throughout the year for funding that does not exceed 25% of the total project budget, up to $5,000. Olson adds, “No matter what kind of project is being proposed, we are looking for a few key criteria in successful grant proposals. First and foremost, the proposal should demonstrate how the project is aligned with one or more of the program’s strategic goals. The proposals should also demonstrate that the organizers have the knowledge, experience, and resources to execute a successful event, media production, or educational initiative. Finally, proposals should demonstrate need or demand for the project and have a solid marketing plan for reaching stakeholders, community members, or constituents.”