My dearest black community,
You are worthy of love, respect, joy, flourishing, abundance, celebrating, and accomplishing your dreams. You are worthy of living and breathing and existing.
I cannot even begin to imagine the weight, trauma, and suffering that you are feeling. This includes the folks on our team and in our family. As a Latina, this hurt weighs heavy on my heart because our people also suffer from systemic oppression. And yet as non-black Latinx people, we must face our own anti-blackness and thoughts that have been ingrained in us by just existing in this world.
We can do so much better as a human race to treat each other with kindness, compassion, consent, and respect. And we can create a better world than the one we have been born into.
It has been our mission as a company to create a space in which folks from different walks of life can feel at home in their own skin, have respectful dialogue, connect, and create. Within that context and our society in general it has also been extremely important to create spaces in which non-white folks also see themselves represented and welcomed to join and contribute within our spaces.
We celebrate and honor the cultures of the people from where coffee is grown, cacao is produced, spices are harvested because their rich history and stories are important to name, honor, and acknowledge and because they are beautiful and bring us to life. As this Coronavirus pandemic affects us all deeply and spreading freely, we are seeing that this systemic racism pandemic does not affect us all equally but takes all of us to eradicate it.
We will double down on our mission and also open internal avenues to check on our team and our impacts.
We are comprised of a great majority of women, people of color, multilingual speakers of varied beliefs and viewpoints who are mission and community-driven. It has taken years to build our skilled, service-oriented, and dedicated team that represents the city that we serve and who work for and embody our mission of creating space, light, and opportunity. We strive to reach our mission through the repeated daily decisions we make in our hiring, buying, and selling, paying living wages, in how we recruit, self assess and grow. We assert this vision of openness and health at every turn, with every consideration and improvement. We do so imperfectly, with an open heart and determination.
To all in our community here in Durham and afar, we hope that you will join us in supporting black people, black businesses, and workers, investigating and asserting our values every day with love, compassion, support, and dollars. We hope that all of us will be open to engaging in real inquiry into the roots of the hurt, going beyond our fixed positions to open ourselves to hear each other, putting ourselves in others’ shoes, and supporting each other. We all need to better know our unique and common histories, empathize with the plight of others, and imagine how the history of our nation has brought us to this point. Know that the protests and even destruction are a symptom of an illness in our society. It will take all of us to sincerely inquire, connect, heal, and grow.
We will be reflecting as a group to consider how we can do better.
Know that we feel and support you beautiful black community and we love you.
Areli Barrera Grodski
Cocoa Cinnamon & Little Waves Coffee Roasters