A huge thank you everyone who has supported The Coffeewoman this year!
The Coffeewoman came to life in February 2016 with an event in Kansas City and by year end, five more events were held in Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, Providence and Puerto Vallarta. There are so many people to thank for making these events happen, we are deeply grateful. We launched an online component to the community in May and we’re a finalist for a 2016 Sprudgie Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence (still time to vote). The reception to this endeavor has been incredible and we’re inspired by those stepping into conversations about equality.
We started with the basic premise that one of the first things we needed to do was talk about diversity and inclusion more-have the necessary conversations to build understanding to then find solutions. The Coffeewoman events were intended to create that space and communities came together in a really powerful way, focusing on support, encouragement, and new ideas. We have more events planned for 2017 and will also be establishing Facebook communities (beginning with the Seattle pilot next month) to help communities stay connected outside of the events.
We launched the blog with the goal of bringing even more perspectives forward. We will continue to utilize this platform, but you’ll likely see some changes. We will still generate content from our events and always welcome new writers, but there is already so much great writing that we want to dedicate more of our online presence to promoting others work*. We’re also happy to have the support of Hanna Neuschwander and Megan O’Connell, who are now contributing their ideas and editing skills to help develop content for The Coffeewoman (many, many thanks).
As we look back over the conversations during The Coffeewoman events and through the platform, it is notable to us how many centered on issues of sustainability and people. With topics ranging from the necessary leadership to make climate change a priority to holistic considerations of Barista livelihoods (wages, access to affordable housing, supportive work environments, etc), the conversations were incredibly intelligent, deep, and creative. It’s clear to us, while equality is an important goal in and of itself, the bigger opportunity is to ensure we apply the full range of talent in our industry working against its biggest challenges. We need all of the bright and thoughtful coffee professionals working together to make coffee better.
Happy New Year,
Laila and Tracy
*Not an exhaustive list, by any means, but a big shout out to #shestheroaster campaign, Barista magazine’s consistent coverage, The Permanent Barista, Michelle Johnson for both The Chocolate Barista and her advocacy for black coffee professionals, and Jenn Chen.