Black Bourbon Society launches Diversity DistilledBy Melita Kiely
The Black Bourbon Society has launched a non-profit consultancy firm, called Diversity Distilled, to create more diversity and inclusion across the spirits industry.
Diversity Distilled was first established in January this year, but its announcement and plans to host the Diversity Distilled Spirits Conference were delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, in the midst of global protests against police brutality and systematic racism, the Black Bourbon Society said it “cannot push this off any further. Now is the time.”
Protests have been taking place in towns and cities worldwide calling for an end to police brutality and systematic racism, following the death of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis, in the US, while in police custody.
The aim of Diversity Distilled is to advise spirits brands on how they can create and implement “robust” diversity and inclusion policies within their corporate structures.
Diversity Distilled will assist brands in proactively recruiting, retaining and promoting a diverse workforce both internally and across executive leadership teams, as well as within their vendor supply chains. The non-profit will also work to create job training and educational opportunities for people of colour who are looking to work in the spirits sector.
A statement from Samara Rivers, CEO and founder of Black Bourbon Society, and Armond Davis, COO of Black Bourbon Society, was published on the group’s Instagram page.
The statement said: “Over the past four years, Black Bourbon Society has become the leading voice for consumers of colour advocating for diversity and inclusion within the spirits industry.
“We have created collaborative content and programming through our social media platforms and curated events and experiences that facilitated genuine engagement between Bourbon brands and our membership throughout the country.
“We have also provided valuable insight on our demographic that dispels marketing stereotypes that the brands once relied on to create their marketing and target audience strategies. We are extremely proud of the progress that BBS [Black Bourbon Society] has made in its advocacy but know that we’ve only scratched the surface of tackling the historic and systematic issues of implicit bias, racism, diversity and inclusion within the spirits industry.”
The statement continued: “As mentioned in our recent ‘Open Letter to the Bourbon Industry’, we know that advocacy simply isn’t enough these days. Not only are we committed to using our platform and influence to insist the brands be more diverse and inclusive, but we are also dedicated to providing the solution to the problem.
“With your support, we are confident that Black Bourbon Society, along with the new vision and mission of Diversity Distilled Inc, will bring forth the necessary change we insist the spirits industry make.”