Six months ago, Finback Brewery asked us to participate in an initiative with an intention to create a safe space to have a sustained dialogue around racial and social injustice. An initiative that through conversations, shared ideas and perspectives is intended to build real strength and affect change. Our task was simple, "have a conversation that addresses BIPOC issues – with your team, your community, an employee, someone different than yourself or anyone you choose, and to record it in some form on the label and put it into the world as an action to be responded to." We took some time to reflect on this project because not only did we want to create a special beer but we wanted to have meaningful lasting conversations.
A few months ago we asked Chaz and Mario of Hella Coastal, the first black-owned brewery in Oakland, to participate in this sustained dialogue. Over a series of meetings, we openly discussed race, social justice issues, how systemic oppression has affected our history, and how it has the potential to affect our legacy. These #breathingconversations have been some of the most thought-provoking, passionate, and reflective discussions we've had. We came to the conclusion that it was important to prompt the public on some of the most poignant topics that arose from these conversations.
At what age should you discuss race with children? How do you prepare for that conversation?
How do you have a thoughtful conversation about race with your friends and loved ones when they get defensive or derail the conversation with humor? Where can the conversation go when instead of retreating, we lean into the tension and discomfort that each of us feel?
How do you determine when something is wrong and you need to make "a change"? What does "a change" mean to you?
We ask you to take part in the conversation.
*Note: On behalf of The Rare Barrel, Hella Coastal, and Breathing Conversations, The Rare Barrel we will be donating to Youth Spirit Artworks, a Berkeley organization committed to empowering homeless and low-income youth in the Bay Area through art, jobs, and job training.