Get to Know a BA Committee: Diversity & Inclusion

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This post is the second in a series of posts called, “Get to Know a Brewers Association Committee.” Keep an eye out for more committee highlights like this in the future.

Meet the Diversity Committee

The Diversity Committee’s mission is to build diversity and inclusion (D&I) across all aspects of the craft brewing community. This includes leveraging the Brewers Association’s (BA) resources, as well as partnering with like-minded individuals in the community. The committee works on various projects intended to measure the diversity of the Brewers Association, its members, its partners, and craft beer lovers, and to make the craft beer community as diverse as the broader communities they are a part of.

“I wanted to ensure that the underrepresented groups in the brewing industry that I fall into had a voice when conversations [on diversity] were taking place.”

Mike Smothers, Port City Brewing Company

“I joined the Diversity Committee because I wanted to ensure that the underrepresented groups in the brewing industry that I fall into had a voice when conversations [on diversity] were taking place,” says Mike Smothers. “Port City Brewing Company has used D&I resources created by the committee to create a mission statement that we display to ensure that everyone who enters our brewery feels safe and welcome.”

Diversity Committee Activities

Earlier this year the Diversity Committee published a five part series of best practice resources designed to help businesses with everything from starting the conversation about why diversity matters and what it means to them, to setting up a framework to assess the success of a diversity and inclusion program. The Diversity Committee ambassador, Dr. Janel Nikol Jackson-Beckham (a.k.a. “Dr. J”) has traveled to many events and state guilds to speak on these diversity best practices.

(Learn more about how to diversify your hands, fans, and brands here.)

The committee also coordinates the Brewers Association Diversity and Inclusion Grants which help to support local and regional events that intentionally promote and foster a more diverse and inclusive craft beer community. This year the grant was awarded to six events around the U.S. ranging from cultural beer festivals to inclusive job fairs. A list of these events can be found here. The Diversity and Inclusion Event Grant application for 2020 opens October 1, 2019 and the proposal guidelines can be found here.

“Diversity and Inclusion efforts are hard topics when you don’t have the expertise. The Diversity Committee is a resource for our members to help grow our community both internally and externally.”

Julie Verratti, Denizens Brewing Co.

“I joined the committee because I believe that we each have a responsibility to expand access to our industry,” says Julie Verratti of Denizens Brewing Co. “Diversity and Inclusion efforts are hard topics when you don’t have the expertise. The Diversity Committee is a resource for our members to help grow our community both internally and externally. Having the financial resources from the BA, plus the expertise of Dr. J, helps make a larger impact on our whole industry. At the end of the day it’s a win-win for everyone.”

Interested in Joining a BA Committee?

Brewers Association committees help shape and strategize the priorities for your association. Through committees, new ideas are formed, and the effort of the many talented brewery and guild individuals can be carried directly to the Board of Directors through its co-chairs. Additionally, committee work is a pre-requisite for service on the BA Board, as it acquaints members more deeply with BA values and projects.

While committees are capped to ensure a useful working group size, there are often opportunities for committees to welcome new members. Do you or someone at your brewery have the desire and skills necessary to serve on one of the Brewers Association’s committees? Contact Marc Preo with any questions or to show interest in committee participation.