Events

Black Lives Matter

1 March – 31 December 2020

We're taking a break from normal activities to reflect and to acknowledge that we at Company Drinks believe, without question, that Black Lives Matter. We stand in solidarity with those protesting the murder of George Floyd.

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When George Floyd’s murder happened in the USA on May 25th, and we saw the Black Lives Matter Movement gain unprecedented global motion, we wanted to consider where we must adjust and act as an organisation.

We often talk about the “ecosystems” that connect us all. And so this current moment in history is making us look at the role we all play in things being the way that they are, and the role that we at Company Drinks can play in ensuring we work to tackle and dismantle racism and inequality, whether it’s in our organisational structure, our habits or our poor understanding as a predominantly white core project team.

Company Drinks is a community space, a business run for communal benefit and not for profit, a space to grow and harvest and enjoy nature together, a place to revisit our histories and what they mean to us today.

We do what we can to share our organisational resources and funding to support our communities, to create something together, and to learn from the people who are doing amazing things to make the world a better place.

But we know that we live in an unequal society, especially in terms of race, gender and economy, and we have a responsibility to our community to do a much better job of addressing this.

In the coming months we will be allocating a portion of our time and funding to internal training, re-addressing policies and implementing procedures, to ensure that we, as a community organisation, are doing what we can to change the way we operate, and to better support the Black Lives Matter Movement [and others like it in future]. We also wish to re-evaluate our future public programme as a potential platform for education; for listening to and learning from the experiences of black people.

We will also be talking to our community, listening to our extended network, and ensuring that those who take part in the Company Drinks public programme understand that supporting the Black Lives Matter movement is crucial to supporting our activities, values and collective goals.

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If we see or notice racism, prejudice or inequality, we will speak up, and act up.

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We write in unity and friendship with everyone who we have met and worked with, who are making changes to make the world a better place, however big or small. We particularly want to send our support, love and solidarity to everyone who is protesting and to everyone who experiences and suffers from discrimination on the basis of the colour of their skin.

We wish to encourage our volunteers, supporters and members to follow us in listening and learning from others so that we can move forward (see links below). In that, we ask you to be clear and frank with us. We want our activities to be a safe space for people to bring things up and for everyone to be heard, especially if we don’t live up to what we say we aim for.

If there is anything we’ve said that you’d like to talk about or raise with the team, we would very much like to hear from you.

Take care, stay safe, and we can’t wait for the day we can meet up again.

Signed by the

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Company Drinks Team and
Company Drinks CIC Board of Directors

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Projects we support: BLM edition

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Whether it’s sharing a meal round a table together, or sitting on a coach to Kent; we often talk about issues much bigger than us; climate change and food inequality, access to land and resources, barriers to individual and collective wellbeing … We’d like to share some inspiring resources with you which we hope will bring the BLM movement closer to home in our future discussions around food, drinks and nature:

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  • Please read The Landworkers Alliance statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and it’s key role in bringing to the forefront issues around food justice and access to green spaces.
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  • The best way that we, as a food/drinks company can show that Black Lives Matter is to support black food and drinks businesses. We have much to learn about how we can do better as an organisation, but in the meantime, we wanted to share resources such as Afrorocks’ 43 Black Owned UK Businesses and this Delish piece on Black Owned UK Food Businesses. We also recommend following collectives such as UK Vegans of Colour for brilliant content.
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  • Land in Our Names (LION) seeks to uproot & disrupt systemic issues of land as they pertain to black people in Britain. They address land justice as a centre point for issues around food insecurity, health inequalities, environmental injustice & widespread disconnect from nature. Their blog currently features a brilliant piece featuring friend of the project and previous Digesting Politics guest Deirdre Woods, on how the The Landworkers Alliance are currently addressing inequalities in power and in making our food and farming systems more equitable.
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  • Wretched of The Earth is a grassroots collective for Indigenous, black, brown and diaspora groups and individuals demanding climate justice and acting in solidarity with our communities, both here in the UK and in the Global South. Their facebook page is a really good source of information about protests, funds and online content to watch, listen and learn.
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  • We were first introduced to May Project Gardens by the late, great Esiah Levy. They work with urban communities, addressing poverty, disempowerment and access to green resources and influence. They work with marginalised and BAME groups, providing practical, affordable and collective solutions for people to live sustainably, thriving for an alternative system and lifestyle based on nature, community, biodiversity and creativity. They are mostly volunteer led, but you can follow their great work or donate to support them here.
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Other very useful links:

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One of the things we as an organisation will be doing together to address our organisational biases or prejudices, will be to assess our own structure and processes against resources such as the Aorta Collective’s ‘Dismantling anti-black bias in democratic workplaces’ toolkit. We encourage you to bring up doing similar in your own workplace.

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Families, check out The Conscious Kid‘s instagram page for regular, family-friendly, helpful resources and information, including ‘how to talk to children about racism‘.

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You can find a list of Black Lives Matter resources, including a list of black owned businesses here.

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If you want to join the movement but aren’t able to protest, and wish to see a list of petitions you can sign or protest funds you can donate to, click here.

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