-- A letter from Sean Lilly Wilson, Fullsteam CEO --
Fullsteam stands united with our black team members. We honor and respect Durham's history as the Southern epicenter of black entrepreneurship. And we join in protest in direct opposition to systemic racism and police brutality. Full stop.
As owner of Fullsteam -- and as a white male -- I've struggled with the balance between ceding the stage and listening, versus using my platform and privilege to help bring about change. I spoke with my staff to seek their input, and it was clear that they're looking to me directly to speak out and speak up. That they've long been voicing their concerns and anger.
Black lives matter. That's the first thing to say. The words that follow simply build an action plan around this central premise.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR POSITIVE CHANGE
-- taking the lead of Andrew Ullom at Raleigh's Union Special, we will actively seek out, support, and prioritize purchasing from black-owned and minority-owned farms, services, and vendors.
-- Fullsteam will commit to racial equity training for our staff. I've heard good things about Racial Equity Institute. If you have any other recommendations, feel free to post.
-- we will use our platform and reach to amplify and highlight black-owned restaurants and businesses in Durham, and black-owned breweries, distilleries, wineries, and taprooms across the nation.
Our passion is the Southern Beer Economy. To truly accomplish our mission, we need to ensure our purchasing power -- $500,000 in local agriculture to date -- extends to all.
We'll follow up with more information about our planned tavern re-opening, set for Wednesday, June 3. But for us to truly serve as a Durham community center, this message needed to come first.
We've often said that we want our tavern to be a mirror of Durham. This past week, that mirror has led to a lot of personal self-reflection. By implementing these changes, we hope this mirror will serve as a beacon of light for our vision of the Beautiful South -- progressive, inclusive, compassionate, and forward-looking.
For a more beautiful South (and beyond),
Sean Lilly Wilson, Chief Executive Optimist
Fullsteam Brewery, Durham, N.C.