June 29, 2020
To the OZO Community,
For too long Institutional Racism has been the invisible enemy of justice and equality. The Black Lives Matter movement and the brutal killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Colorado’s own Elijah McClain are a tipping point for our culture to begin to see an opportunity to end racism, forcing us as individuals to recognize our own internalized and implicit biases, and to evaluate our own relationships to privilege. Our country has begun awakening to the violence, suffering and death our willful blindness to racism creates. We will stand silent no longer. Racism must end… and it is the responsibility of every individual, legislator, and corporate entity to put our collective effort into creating the equality the United States claims to embody, but has yet to achieve. This change must start from within.
We want to send our community the message that OZO is for everyone — encompassing all diverse peoples and identities.
This Great Pause has given us the time to reflect as a company on where we align with the community and to figure out how to respond with intention. We have taken this opportunity to specifically reflect on diversity, equity, and inclusivity and how we can open this dialogue to each of you. We want to hold space for all of you to feel empowered and willing to come to us to share your thoughts, experiences, and relationships to this movement. We are all processing this moment in our own ways, in our own time.
Our mission here at OZO Coffee Company is “to support and connect diverse communities through coffee.” As a mission-driven business, we know that the fluidity of these conversations allows us to CONNECT with the needs of our community, DISCOVER the roles that we as individuals and as a company have in this community, and RESPOND with change that is long overdue. Equality and equity are not political issues, they are human rights issues.
OZO is committed to growing, to changing, to shifting, to bettering ourselves. This involves each of us doing the work, regardless of our position or tenure with this company: exploring our own privilege, diving deep into our own biases, our own definitions of equality, which are personal to our own individual experiences. Change takes practice. We are committed to this process as individuals and as a company. We have collected a myriad of resources for us as a team to educate ourselves on these issues and support the conversation. We are asking the question: what can each of us do now and going forward? As part of our commitment, we promise to continue this conversation with each and every one of you. We are listening and we are learning. With love, humility, and gratitude we stand in solidarity with this movement, each other, and our community.
The OZO Leadership Team
“[Progress] comes through the time and persistent work of dedicated individuals… Without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the primitive forces of social stagnation and irrational emotionalism. We must help time and we must realize the time is always right to do right.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King’s speech at SMU on March 17, 1966
Understanding Racism in America
TED talks opens up the conversation across the board
Implicit Bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
Implicit Bias: Peanut Butter, Jelly and Racism (2:26 min)
Looking deeper into Culture
The Culture Inside: Invisibilia (56:22 min)
Being “Colorblind” will not end Racism, a look into this philosophy
Why Color Blindness Will Not End Racism (5:36 min) By: Decoded, MTV
Black Lives Matter and Specialty Coffee
Addressing Anti-Blackness in Specialty Coffee
Another great resource on understanding your part in anti-racism
Black Lives Matter in the Workplace
A list of local organizations that OZO Coffee has supported in the past several years and will continue to raise money and awareness. Their mission aligns with ours and through our support will create a greater impact on our community. These organizations are volunteer powered, if you are interested in making an even bigger impact.
The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center- Boulder https://www.rmpjc.org/about-us
NAACP- Boulder County Branch https://naacpbouldercounty.org/
Colorado Poor People’s Campaign- Boulder County https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/
KGNU Community Radio- offering a voice, through news/music, for those voices not heard anywhere else on the dial. https://kgnu.org/
Showing Up for Racial Justice- Boulder https://www.facebook.com/pg/SURJBoulder/about/?ref=page_internal
A list of Black Owned Businesses in Boulder County https://equitysolutions.io/boulder-county-black-businesses.html