One More Day in Michael Jackson Foundation $100k Matching Challenge!
Tomorrow is the last day to have your donation doubled with Athletic Brewing Company to match up to $100k in donations for The Michael James Jackson Foundation. The MJF is a grant-making organization that funds scholarship awards to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color within the brewing and distilling trades. Help make the craft brewing and distilling industry more just, equitable, and dynamic. Your contribution is matched dollar for dollar. Anything helps! It’s easy. Go HERE to contribute now!!
Since its founding in 2020, The MJF has funded scholarship awards supporting the career advancement of 29 individuals. This year’s matching fundraising challenge will enable the organization to increase and accelerate the impact it’s having on diversifying the brewing and distilling industries.
“The impact that these MJF scholarships are having are both immediate and enormous,” explained Garrett Oliver, Founder and Chair of The MJF. “For example, one $40,000 donation put ten brewers of color through Siebel’s WBA Concise Course in Brewing. That’s massive. Our awardees have told us that not only have they been able to put their new knowledge to work immediately every day, but they are now able to dream bigger than they had before and to join the industry leaders of the future. We are grateful to our current donors who’ve stepped up and hopeful that the big breweries will get more involved this year as well. A diverse industry is a healthy industry with a big customer base – and that’s what we all want to see.”
In just three years, The MJF has already had a significant impact as its past scholarship award winners advance in their careers and assume leadership roles. A number of past winners now hold titles of Head Brewer and Head Distiller, while others have joined the production or fermentation teams at such renowned organizations as Russian River Brewing.
Part of what has made The MJF successful over those three years is partnering with like-minded organizations, both inside and outside the beer and distilling industries, that can help drive awareness and impact.
“It’s no secret that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are underrepresented within the brewing industry,” said Bill Shufelt, Co-Founder & CEO of Athletic Brewing Company. “We’re proud to support the MJF, and we hope other breweries will step up and contribute to the campaign as well.”
There is still plenty of work to do to create that more inclusive, equitable, and diverse future that is the vision of The MJF. It’s estimated that 8.2% of brewers in the beer industry are people of color1. That number contrasts starkly against the 40% of the U.S. population that identifies as a person of color2.
“The brewing industry has historically lacked diversity, and it’s critical that we continue to support education and career advancement opportunities while building a more inclusive community for everyone,” added Shufelt. “We have an opportunity to make a significant difference with this campaign, but only if enough people take action.”
Pat Hagerman, Co-Founder of ProBrewer, echoed those thoughts, “The support received last year was amazing. Breweries, suppliers, brewery employees, and consumers all contributed generously. I hope we receive the same level of support this year, if not more. The more we receive, the more impact we can have in changing the industry for the better.”
The fundraising campaign will start today and continue through May 8, 2023. To contribute to the campaign and have your donation matched by Athletic Brewing, go HERE.
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