Diversity & Inclusion
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Oct
26
SciSoc
Working with Crafted For All
Diversity & Inclusion
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Dr. J (J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham)

Dr. J is an equity and inclusion strategist who provides consulting and training to individuals and organizations in the craft beverage industries.

Pink Boots Society works to Assist, Inspire, and Encourage Women in the Fermented Alcohol Beverage industry to advance their careers through Education. We strive to welcome and include ALL women into our membership and serve them in an equitable way. Pink Boots Society was inspired to partner with Crafted for All when we realized that we needed to know more about the intersectional identities of our members in order to meet their needs. Crafted for All’s Educational focus, combined with a responsive structure that utilizes data matches the needs and values of Pink Boots Society.

Working with Crafted for All means Pink Boots Society is creating and sustaining a more Inclusive and Equitable organization for all women. We are beginning with a survey which will lead into the process of discovering how we can build a stronger sense of belonging and support for our 2400+ current and potential members. We’ve had to ask ourselves some challenging questions and be open to continual adaptation and change.

Pink Boots Society believes that working with Crafted for All will challenge us to become more responsive to the diverse needs of our membership. We will do this by identifying gaps in accessibility and equity in our programs, and we will create solutions to support those who have been underserved. Pink Boots Society understands that there is no singular outcome of this process, and that we are committed to ongoing action. This work never ends, but we know it facilitates the positive transformation, and resilience of our industry.

Aug
5
SciSoc
Membership Spotlight – Danii Oliver
Diversity & Inclusion, Women In Beer
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Welcome back to Membership Spotlight!

Would you like to nominate a Pink Boots member who has inspired you? A member you think embodies the mission of Pink Boots Society and deserves a shout out? Send nominations to socialmedia@pinkbootssociety.org!

This month we are highlighting Danii Oliver, founder of Beersgiving and Island to Island brewery.

What is your role in the industry?
Brewery owner and brewer. I founded Island to Island brewery brands from the traditions of home brewing practices I witnessed from my aunts and grandmothers, and the stories my parents have shared with me about how my great-grandmothers would brew at home then go sell their inventory to the working men on various islands or down on the savannah during carnival time. I am also a digital marketing communications professional, now dedicating my expertise to the marketing of beverage brands along the veins of diversity and S.T.E.M. education.

Beersgiving is a professional project I started in response to the glass walls and ceilings that have led to the lack of diversity, sharing of information, and education in the craft beer industry. At a time when I was labeled as one of the few I set out on a mission to change the outlook of craft beer within one year’s time, helping to open doors to Indigenous communities, immigrant communities, and families of all kinds—civilian, military and LGBTQ—who have believed until now they were not welcome in craft beer spaces, jobs, or ownership. It was my goal to see the end of diversity panels by 2021, no longer be seen as or called the “CLEANING LADY,” and open opportunities to women and underrepresented community members by pairing people with industry leaders. The outcome being to open the flood gates of information folks need to know to truly feel welcomed and participate in craft beer anywhere along the supply chain from raw materials to consumer consumption.

How long have you been a Pink Boots Member?
Admittedly 4 months. I hadn’t felt welcomed in the society until I got to Texas. The diversity of the women here was widespread through craft beer, from sales reps to marketers to tasters to cellar women to educated taproom staff and ultimately owners. The women here in North Texas were relentless about making me feel welcome. They invited me to meetings over and over until I finally showed up. I expressed my concerns about BIPOC women like myself not being represented in Pink Boots Society. Brittany and Samantha, our leaders, assured me of their heartfelt desire to allow me to carve out more space for more inclusion and not have me fill a token space.

I couldn’t join for a while because I was not earning an income from beer. Being an owner does not produce the liquid cash or paycheck people think it does. However when I earned my first $20 of 2020 from a BEERSGIVING event, I made the investment and joined. The chapter quickly gave me a voice, a title, and saw me for what I offered and not my skin. I now share my marketing profession as a full-time volunteer of the NTX Chapter. We support the women-owned member establishments; we market our collaboration beers; we promote by being present at all events to share information, educate, and recruit more women who are earning a living from the STEM industry of craft beer.

What, in your opinion, are the greatest benefits of the Pink Boots Society?
It’s hard to say at a time like 2020 when meetings are over digital recording platforms and there are no events we can attend. For the few months I have been a member, the benefits I have gotten come from camaraderie, being taken seriously by my chapter members, and the five (5) collaboration brews we did in February & March. Brewing on 5, 7, 15, & 30 barrel systems has quadrupled my expertise and allowed me to participate in teaching women aspects of brewing, cellaring, marketing, and tap line setup. My chapter has supported the BEERSGIVING movement to teach S.T.E.M. to kids, teach craft beer sensory and brewing to women, and bring about equity.

I love the moments in this year that I have been able, as a PINK BOOTS CHAPTER MEMBER, to visit member establishments in a supporting role. When our member businesses were struggling during COVID shutdowns, they allowed me to come by and help. I have reached out to members in California, Florida, Alaska, and Virginia and have been able to achieve relationship building across chapters for events support, collaboration support, and information sharing.

Recently the underrepresentation of diverse women in the society has been acknowledged and is presently being addressed. I hope the new mission of Pink Boots to include stories of underrepresented members and be more inclusive is followed through with. I for one plan to be a part of the solution by contributing more and keeping an open mind to overcome the past. The NTX Chapter happens to be the most diverse group of women in love with their industry and open to all women in the spirit of education and assistance that I have met to date. Fellowship with these women has been of tremendous value to me.

What is your favorite thing about working in the beer industry?
Manifestation. In craft beer I can make anything I dream up come to life. I can manifest my ancestors’ wildest dreams, re-live their footsteps, and embrace my heritage of entrepreneurship rooted in creativity and the production of farm-to-jug fermented garden and orchard produce. No other industry I have been a part of allows me to directly and literally feed my family, teach my kids Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Communications, and Artful Expression while gaining real-world experience and producing a product that touches people near and far.

I love the beer industry because aside from the European and monk narratives, females of all earth peoples made and make beer—defined as fermented non-distilled alcoholic beverages from produce other than grapes, apples, or pears. My elders made beer. And in the true spirit of beer in America I can defy and push the boundaries of what beer is, as defined by my heritage and availability of fresh produce. The Arawak tradition of brewing beer was to make the men happy. In doing so, they would sit down allowing us, the women, to make them pretty. You see it today all over my culture. We love to dress colorfully, style our hair, dance, sing, and lime after work.

That tradition was hidden from plain sight during colonialism and during migrations to North America. Recipes became family secrets as we were forced to give up our hair, our accent, and our expression of personal style in order to fit in with “Yankees” to avoid ending up in jail.

Beer at times does ask me to accept sexualization and desexualization, but beer doesn’t ask me to straighten my hair or wear a suit and high heels. Beer does not tell me to sit down and do as I am told or take a back seat like corporate America. Beer is about the effort I put forward, early mornings, long days, happy hours, and meeting amazing people to, as a community, bridge communities and build friendships that lead to families then sit back and watch the time of our lives happen.

Beer is a medium that brings people together. Always has and always will. And when it does not, trust there will be someone rebelling to open a doorway. The Germans did it when the U.S. government and lobbyists tried to limit what beer is or is made from. Today people of color and women are doing the same thing when it comes to who can be included in craft beer and intellectual industries at large. I am working to define what beer is from a pre-colonial & non-European perspective and there is no one to tell me I can’t, which is why I love craft beer.

What are your proudest Pink Boots / beer industry moments?
Brewing my first 15 BBL Kettle Sour IPA with my 4-year-old daughter being encouraged, taught, and assisted through the process by the 40 women in attendance at Fifth Hammer Brewery. Then Brewing a 30 BBL batch of the TDH DIPA “She’s Intense” collaboration beer at Hop and Sting Brewing Co. while teaching grown women and young girls the process only to then sell out in 2 weeks during the original quarantine shutdowns.

Is there anything you would like to tell us about the work you do, or your involvements with Pink Boots?
I want women across the globe to know I am here for them. That I live and breathe the mission of Pink Boots. I am here for them and they will never get the brush off or “no time” responses I have gotten in the past. I am a member this year because I believe the organization can do better. Complaining about it won’t make the problems go away so I am here to live by example.

What are you drinking right now (or later)?
An American light lager that I brewed and cellared this summer. I grew up on light lager styles. I love their clean fizzy refreshing qualities and how receptive they are to additional flavors. My beer currently has lime juice and a splash of apple cider vinegar with hot sauce.

A fun fact or bit of trivia about you!
I see beers and mixed beverages as “Liquid Paintings!” People can experience being emotionally and consciously impacted by sipping these creations the same as with any other art form.

Jun
19
SciSoc
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Update
Diversity & Inclusion
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Pink Boots Society
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Update
June 19, 2020

The Pink Boots Society Board of Directors has been actively discussing how we can make a meaningful impact on the inclusivity and diversity of our membership and our industry in light of the Black Lives Matter movement. To add action to our support of this movement, we are charting a long-term diversity plan that will extend far into the future.

It is no secret that the beer industry lacks diversity. Pink Boots Society exists to promote and inspire industry women through education, but we’ve been tackling the challenge of how to reach a more diverse membership when the industry itself lacks diversity. In order to proactively address obstacles such as these, we plan to identify ways that we can support Black women and other disenfranchised groups in our industry with the goal of helping to break down the blatant  ̶  and often hidden  ̶  barriers that exclude so many people from enjoying the best that the beer industry has to offer.

As we speak, our Board is reaching out to professional diversity consultants and speakers who can inform PBS on our long-term strategic plans for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). We are also launching a Diversity Task Force and developing a budget for our DEI efforts. We are dedicated to taking concrete action toward social justice and to continue to support change within our industry. If you are interested in being a member of our new Diversity Task Force, please reach out to us today at membership@pinkbootssociety.org.

As many of you may know, PBS has recently opened up membership eligibility to include women in all fermented beverages. We genuinely hope this expansion is just one step in helping to create a more diverse membership.

While the Board continues to move forward in the aforementioned efforts behind the scenes, we invite all of our members to join us in taking action on the frontlines as well. Reach out to your local chapter, your fellow members or your co-workers to find ways you can be part of the solution. Ask yourself how you can get involved and help increase diversity within Pink Boots and the industry as a whole. Pink Boots Society is a non-profit organization. Our efforts are driven by member volunteers who dedicate our spare time to serving all of our members. Your needs  ̶  and the needs of all women in our industry  ̶  are truly the focus of our society.

We invite you to get involved today through one of the below action items:

• Support the voices of Black women through nominations to our monthly membership spotlight that add more visibility to the industry experiences of all of our members.
• Contribute to our blog by sharing your personal experiences. Blog posts can be submitted to socialmedia@pinkbootssociety.org.
• Keep the conversation going by engaging with members nationwide on Instagram and Facebook.
• Expand the circle of those you reach out to with leadership and volunteer opportunities by nominating women of color, older members, new members and more reserved members of your Chapter, among other groups that are less likely to be heard in our industry.
• Ensure you encourage a range of member feedback and insight from everyone that attends your meetings, instead of relying on only those that typically offer input.
• Help us in creating a more inclusive society. If you notice a barrier to Pink Boots membership based on personal characteristics, including, but not limited to race, sexual orientation, physical ability or age, let us know at membership@pinkbootssociety.org.

The voice of the Pink Boots Society belongs to you – our members. We welcome hearing any and all of your concerns or suggestions as we move toward a more inclusive and diverse organization. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Chapter Leader or the Board at any time. We want to hear from you!! We will keep you updated with our progress in our blog.

Jun
9
SciSoc
Black Lives Matter
Diversity & Inclusion
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We at Pink Boots Society support our members, we support those who are not our members, and we pledge to continue to work towards ending the systemic racial injustice that has put our Black sisters and brothers at risk every day. We believe Black Lives Matter. We will actively work to better our organization to become more supportive of people of color. We will become a better ally. We hear you, we support you, and we believe CHANGE needs to happen right now.

We would like to think that beer brings people together, and provides a common ground of communication, understanding, and joy, but this is not the reality. PBS understands that the beer industry, like too many others, perpetuates and upholds barriers that prevent Black people, people of color, and other disenfranchised people from capitalizing on the benefits of the beer industry. This is absolutely not acceptable, and we are committed to breaking down the barriers that make our industry so pointed, shallow, and narrow.

We will ensure that PBS is a safe place, which means that we expect our members to state their ideas, keep asking questions, and pushing the limits of who we serve, while all the time being treated with respect from our sister members. We plan to maintain an open forum that will lead to needed change. There should be no question that Black women and all other women of color will always have our support.

If there are organizations local to you to help to make a change in your neighborhood, we encourage you to get involved and grow these partnerships. Partners that reach beyond beer and seek social justice are our allies. Please reach out to us. We need to be better!

To our women of color, there is power in your voice and we will work with you to make sure it is heard.

With respect from your Pink Boots Society Board of Directors,

Laura Ulrich
President

Jen Jordan
Vice President

Jennifer Erickson
Treasurer

Cat Wiest
Board of Director

Anita Riley
Board of Director

Ellen Sherrill
Board of Director

Megan Parisi
Board of Director

Carli Smith
Board of Director

Mary Anderson-Leichty
Board of Director