For Pride Month, we sat down with our Director of People at Equator, Brooke Gray, to talk about the importance of year-round allyship in our own work community — in our cafes and our roastery— and beyond.
EQ: What does it mean to be an ally?
BG: I would define being an ally as someone who actively supports and advocates for underrepresented individuals or groups. Being an ally involves recognizing and understanding the systemic barriers and challenges faced by these individuals and taking action to help dismantle those barriers.
Brooke Gray is our Director of People at Equator Coffees.
EQ: Do you have recommendations on how to best practice allyship?
BG: Education and Awareness: Taking the time to educate oneself about the experiences, struggles, and history of marginalized communities. This includes understanding privilege, biases, and the intersections of different identities.
Listening and Amplifying: Actively listening to the voices and perspectives of marginalized individuals and communities, and using our platform to amplify their voices. It involves creating space for them to share their experiences, concerns, and needs.
Advocacy & Support: Standing up against discrimination, inequality, and injustice. It means using our influence and resources to advocate for policies and practices that promote equity and inclusivity. This may involve supporting organizations, initiatives, or legislation that advance the rights and well-being of marginalized communities.
Taking Action: Going beyond words and actively engaging in actions that support equity and inclusion. This can include creating inclusive and diverse spaces within our organization, implementing fair and equitable hiring practices, providing training and development opportunities, and promoting a culture of respect and belonging.
Being Open to Feedback & Growth: Recognizing that being an ally is a continuous learning process and being open to feedback. It means acknowledging mistakes, reflecting on our own biases, and committing to personal growth and improvement.
Molly Steffen is our Customer Service Manager at Equator Coffees.
EQ: What does allyship look like at Equator?
BG: It is important for me and the company to foster an environment where allyship is encouraged, supported, and practiced by all employees. By embodying these principles, we can contribute to creating a more inclusive and equitable society.
Equator Coffees has taken significant strides in advancing its DEI efforts by introducing mandatory Unconscious Bias training for all employees within the initial 30 days of joining the company. This proactive measure ensures that every team member starts their journey with enhanced awareness and understanding of unconscious biases, fostering a more inclusive and equitable workplace culture.
Devorah Freudiger is our Director of Coffee Culture at Equator Coffees.
Pride Month brings a broader visibility to an important dialogue about understanding, supporting, and celebrating the LGBTQ+ community that can, and should, continue year-round.
If you would like to help champion some of the causes most near and dear to us, consider making a contribution to any of these incredible LGBTQ+ partner organizations: