Friday, June 5th
I want to take a moment to acknowledge the pain all of us are feeling over the injustices of the last week. George Floyd’s senseless death added another name to a long list of victims of systemic racism and police brutality, awakening a long pent-up fury in communities across the country. I want you to know that I share in this outrage and that Joe stands in unequivocal solidarity with those marching in the streets for Black lives.
To witness these mounting injustices, including the treatment of innocent protesters this past week, has been deeply troubling. For this to happen while we as a country are dealing with the trauma of the covid-19 pandemic, adds to the pain. However, I recognize that the pain we feel in this moment is insignificant in comparison to the suffering inflicted against Black people in this country for generations.
Our own role as a company in condemning and dismantling racism is not lost on me, and I realize we have likely not done enough. I am committed to ensuring we do better. This will involve a lot of listening, learning (and unlearning), and difficult, introspective conversations. It will involve taking stock of our own values, of which “community” is one, putting them into practice and holding ourselves accountable to them.
While it’s evident that radical change is needed, as a business that is simultaneously reckoning with the dire financial realities of surviving this pandemic, we at Joe Coffee have to ask ourselves: what meaningful actions can we take in this moment, and what work can we do to ensure that we emerge on the other end of this pandemic a business that is actively contributing to long lasting change? Make no mistake: public statements and donations matter today, but the work of becoming anti-racist is ongoing.
The road ahead is long, and progress will not come without mistakes along the way, but the key is to keep forging ahead with an open heart. Right now, we are actively listening and taking time to educate ourselves. We commit to examining our employee handbook, our policies, and our own unconscious biases, actively engaging with you, our team members to create avenues for dialogue, and collaborating with our community at large.
Joe Coffee will always be a place where everyone is welcome, and everyone belongs. This means you all have a voice here. I invite you to share your feedback about diversity: whether they are issues you think need to be examined, or ideas about how we can do better.