Racial Justice Work Update from Fair State Brewing Cooperative
Back in 2020, we said that we would be working within three buckets to expand our commitment to racial justice at Fair State and within our broader community. As we come up on Derek Chauvin’s trial and close in on a year since George Floyd’s murder, we’d like to provide a brief update on what we’ve done within those buckets so far, and what we have planned for 2021.
We are committed to supporting community safety solutions that offer an alternative to calling the police.
We approached this from two angles this past year. First, we built a coalition of 100+ small businesses and 500+ Minneapolis residents who supported the creation of mobile mental health emergency response teams in Minneapolis. Those teams became a key element of the Safety for All Budget, which we supported and was passed in the City of Minneapolis 2021 budget. You can read a bit more about our lobbying work in this article in the Minnesota Reformer if you’re curious.
We also held meetings with our taproom staff to determine when we had needed to call the police in the past and to see if there were any skills that we could learn that would decrease our reliance on police in the future.
We determined from those meetings that it would be useful to train taproom staff on administering narcan, de-escalation, and basic first aid. Our staff have now been trained by Southside Harm Reduction Services, Atlas Defense, and Minnesota Medical Training Services.
We will deepen our commitment to diversify our team.
This remains very much a work in progress for us, but our hiring managers are meeting regularly to forward with two projects that we hope will help us realize this commitment.
First, with help from an HR professional, we are building out a hiring guide that is steered by diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices. The guide will specify where jobs will be posted, how long they’ll stay up, and how the interview and hiring process will work.
Second, we are working to build out a paid internship program that we hope will bring more folks into the brewing and production side of our work. This program is very much in its first stages of discussion and design, but we are both hoping and planning to have more to announce about it later this year.
We will reboot our Fair State University program that we had previously suspended due to resource constraints, with a focus on justice and democracy.
We hosted free, public, virtual workshops this past year with Jesse Ross, Humanize My Hoodie, and MPD150 in 2020. So far this year, we’ve hosted a free workshop with the leaders of the Yes 4 Minneapolis People’s Petition campaign.
We will continue to host educational workshops that are free and open to the public. This year, those workshops will have a specific focus on policy change within Minneapolis.
We view the work we have done so far as a small step forward in aligning our actions with our values, and we continue to see this work as an ongoing practice.
If you have questions or feedback about our approach, please feel free to reach out directly to Anna, our Community Manager, at [email protected].