On Twitter today, Garrett Oliver, Brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery announced a new brewing and distilling educational scholarship fund predominately for people of color in the industry.
THREAD. Today I am pleased to announce the formation of the Michael Jackson Foundation for Brewing and Distilling (MJF). The MJF will fund scholarship awards to predominantly people of color within the brewing and distilling industries or who wish to join those industries.
— Garrett Oliver (@GarrettOliver) July 6, 2020
Mr. Oliver continues:
These scholarships present an opportunity for members and supporters of our industries to directly fund a more equitable and dynamic future for brewing and distilling.
The MJF scholarship awards will fund brewing and distilling education, whether beginning or ongoing, for BIPOC within the professions. Each scholarship granted to a student will be matched with a BIPOC mentor and/or peer within the industry.
Barriers to success in these industries have never been solely financial. No one needs to walk this path alone.
Michael James Jackson (1942 – 2007) was the world’s greatest beer and whisky writer. His books have sold more than 3 million copies in 18 languages and helped launch the worldwide craft beer movement. Michael was English, but he was also actively and profoundly anti-racist.
Under the MJF, the brewing scholarship shall be the Sir Geoff Palmer Scholarship Award for Brewing. Prof.
@SirGeoffPalmer, 80, born in Jamaica, is a Professor Emeritus of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. In 1989 he became the first black professor in Scotland.
In 1998 the American Society of Brewing Chemists honored him with the Award of Distinction, considered the “Nobel Prize of Brewing”. Sir Geoff Palmer has also been one of the most prominent civil rights authors and activists in the UK for decades.
The distilling scholarship under the MJF shall be the Nathan Green Scholarship for Distilling. Nathan Green (1820 – 1890?), born enslaved, was the original distiller for Jack Daniel Tennessee Whiskey, and taught founder Jack Daniel how to distill using his distinctive techniques.
Today, Nathan “Nearest” Green is properly credited as Jack Daniels original Master Distiller.
The recipients of the MJF scholarships will be predominantly people of color. This is an affirmative action meant to take our allied industries in a more positive and equitable direction for the future. If this goal does not interest you, you are free to remain disinterested.
This work remains necessary.
The MJF and its seed funding grows out of the original Michael Jackson scholarship program under the American Institute of Wine and Food (AIWF). As AIWF wraps up, we will continue its legacy and we thank them.
The MJF will be housed within The Partridge Scholarship Foundation, whom we thank for welcoming us. Our grants will directly fund fees/tuition/materials costs for accredited brewing and distilling courses.
Starting on July 15th we will begin accepting funds for the scholarships under The Michael Jackson Foundation for Brewing and Distilling. I know that this is a very tough time financially for most brewers and distillers. But this work needs to start.
I hope my fellow brewers, our friends in the distilling industry, education leaders, and beer and spirit enthusiasts will join in this important effort. Between now and July 15th, please consider what you are able to contribute. WATCH THIS SPACE. This is the way. Thank you.