The Coffeewoman is back, bringing coffee professionals together to discuss gender, promote equity, and build empowerment throughout the industry.
BY ASHLEY RODRIGUEZ
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
The Coffeewoman started as a series of panels and a keynote speech at last year’s U.S. Coffee Championships Qualifying Event in Kansas City, Mo. Now the Coffeewoman is a movement, encouraging female-identified coffee professionals to engage in critical debate and discussion on issues of inclusion, equity, and fairness throughout the coffee supply chain. The Coffeewoman has hosted events all across North America, and Barista Magazine is honored to host the next iteration of the Coffeewoman this Friday in Berkeley, Calif.
The event will take place at Bay Area CoRo, a co-roasting space that has hosted a number of events, including the all-female-identifying Stump The Roaster panel. Helen Russell of Equator Coffees & Teas will begin the night as the keynote speaker. Equator was named the 2016 National Small Business of the Year, and was recognized for its commitment to sustainability—Equator was the first California coffee roaster to be a certified B Corporation, and has invested in programs and projects to promote increased quality and social justice at origin, including financing micro-loans, working with Sustainable Harvest to bring in coffees from regions of Rwanda, and co-owing a sustainable farm in Panama called Finca Sophia (which was used by third-place finisher at the 2017 United States Barista Championship, Talya Strader). After Helen’s speech, panels focused on growth and diversity will be hosted by Sarah Allen and Ashley Rodriguez, both of Barista Magazine.
Sarah’s panel will focus on career building and finding a pathway in coffee, and will highlight the careers and legacies of notable coffee professionals like Kristen Nelson from Modern Coffee, Amanda Juris from Verve Coffee Roasters, Elizabeth Goldblatt from Six Degrees Coffee, Sarah Richmond from Bay Area CoRo, and Siobhan Gottlieb from Genuine Origin. The panel, called, ‘How did I get here? Discussing coffee career building, challenges, and strategies for navigating a white male dominated industry,’ will ask panelists to reflect on their coffee careers and share experiences where they’ve met doubt and discrimination and how they managed to find success.
Ashley’s panel will discuss intersectionality, which refers to the idea of multiple identities being interconnected and how they influence different ways groups can be discriminated or oppressed. The panel will hear how a number of community members throughout the coffee industry have experienced intersectionality in the workplace, including RJ Joseph of Counter Culture Coffee, Elise Hogan of Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters and Kalita USA, Rosi Quiñones of Royal Coffee, and Brianna Walker of Reveille Coffee.
Along with talks and panels, the Coffeewoman is a chance for coffee professionals to meet and chat with members of the community in a space welcoming to critical debate and a focus on problem solving. In a male-dominated industry, issues of discrimination and marginalization can be missed, and the Coffeewoman is a chance to bring to light issues that affect many members of our community. Since the inaugural event in Kansas City, Mo., in 2016, Coffeewoman’s events have included stops in Seattle, Sacramento (Calif.), Portland (Ore.), and Providence (R.I.). The Coffeewoman is also host to an online forum for members of the coffee community to write down their experiences and share their perspectives.
The Coffeewoman is a free event, and attendees will be met not just with stimulating conversations, but with free beer and food, catered by Bartavelle Coffee & Wine Bar. If you’re interested in attending, you can register here for a night of great food, free-wheeling discussion, and a chance to connect with a group of coffee professionals interested in changing the landscape of the current coffee community.