The American Cider Association (ACA) has been quiet on social media for the last two weeks. We’ve been listening, learning, and working on a sincere, actionable response. When it comes to standing up for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) we have made critical mistakes in the past and we have done harm with our silence. We recognize that we have a lot to learn, that we will make mistakes while we are learning, and that we will grow from those mistakes. We recognize that our ability to write an email like this comes from a place of privilege.
The ACA believes Black Lives Matter. We acknowledge the injustices faced by Black individuals and we stand in solidarity with those raising their voice for change. Our society upholds white privilege in unjust ways and the cider industry and the American Cider Association are dominated by white voices. We have long felt that failure to support BIPOC in the beverage and hospitality industry falls on us as an association, but we have not taken meaningful action on those feelings. Today, it’s too easy for us to feel accomplished with a donation or a hashtag. Instead we are challenging ourselves to invest in lasting change for our organization and our industry. Our commitment to antiracism in the cider industry starts here:
- ACA commits to sending out a monthly newsletter with antiracism resources to our members for the next 12 months.
- ACA commits to participate in antibias and diversity training at the board and staff level within the next six months.
- ACA commits to additional seminars and discussions at CiderCon 2021 around diversity, equity and inclusion.
- ACA commits to not promoting cideries that use racist language or imagery.
We also challenge our members to join us in creating this needed change throughout our industry. You can actively take on this challenge in your lives and businesses in the following ways.
- Collaborate with Black-owned businesses and hire Black employees and contractors. Many communities have business directories you can use to identify Black-owned companies.
- Commit to providing antiracism and antibias training to your cidery’s employees, no matter their role. If you need help finding such resources, let us know.
- Become a patron of a black-led educational platform and participate in the readings, resources and challenges.
As part of our commitment to providing antiracism resources to our members, we will share some of the tools we mention above with our members in the coming months.
As a cider community, we must address the history that has led to a food and beverage industry that rewards racist ideals, and we need to learn how to undo those systems. It’s not easy work, but together we can move toward an equitable and inclusive cider industry that directly recognizes the contributions of Black individuals and celebrates the racial diversity in this country.
Please join us in this work moving forward. Hold us accountable, ask questions, demand transparency, and join us in doing the work.
We thank our Diversity Committee for their support in helping us do this difficult work. Learn more about our committees and our organizational statement of intent regarding Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for the cider industry.