Barista Magazine

FEB-MAR 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 28 of 109

the wrong targets." Although some baristas have chosen to withdraw from competition or organize their own events (such as the Queer in Coffee event hosed in Emeryville, Calif., in December), many baristas are still moving forward with the decision to compete, and are fi nding other ways to show dissatisfaction with the SCA and solidarity with their community. Dawn, along with Lenora Yerkes and Sarah Rice Scott, designed a pin called Force Majeure for baristas who disapprove of the DCP yet are proceeding with competition to wear. "I'm not under any delu- sions that an enamel pin can make this DCP mess all better," says Dawn. "But I hope it can help someone feel better about showing up and judging or volunteering this year, or help a competitor feel less self-conscious about wanting to be an ambassador for coffee." Pins were given to baristas at the Reno Qualifying Event in December for free and were sold at-cost in January. While the town halls were a good opportunity for baristas to come together, they didn't seem to make anyone feel more confi dent in the SCA. "In the context of our small town-hall meeting, yes, I felt heard," says Oodie. "In the national context, however, I feel less heard. I still don't feel as if the brevity of the decision to put WCE [events] in Dubai will be understood until it happens. I think the Deferred Candi- dacy Policy will not show its true colors until someone tries to use it." Many noted that they weren't really sure what to expect next, or what they were actually waiting for from the SCA. SCA board, if you're reading this, what came up from almost everyone we talked to is that you haven't apologized enough. "A loud, clear, and consistently delivered message of 'We messed up,' and, 'We are so sorry,' and, 'We are going to be so much more thoughtful going forward,' has been largely missing, at least from my perspective," says Dawn. "Say it on several channels until this cycle is over," Dawn continues. Respond consistently to feedback, good and bad, on social media—SCA, you can do better than a pinned tweet! Be transparent and communicative about where barista games are proposed to be for the next competition cycle before anything is set in stone." Another thing town-hall participants were in agreement about was increasing representation on the board. "Out of all of our conversa- tions that were had, one big thing stood out—more representation for women, queer, and brown folks in the area. That was the biggest takeaway and what we're working on now," says Oodie. Although some SCA board members are accessible via email, phone, and social media, some of those who have made themselves more accessible than others have suffered the brunt of criticism unfairly because of that. Many are still diffi cult to contact. Further, the rules and bylines of how SCA board members are elected is still confusing to say the least: Current SCA Board Members decide who will be elected for open positions. If you are not elected by the existing board, you can petition to run by obtaining signatures from 100 people or 0.1 percent of the electorate. Most recently, the SCA announced it will be assembling a task force dedicated to equity, diversity, and inclusion—but there's still a lot more work to do, and it's vague what the future of the SCA or the DCP is. The widespread plea from those who attended the myriad town-hall meetings was that the board should proceed as such: Be clear. Be sorry. Be very sorry. Say it a lot. And listen more closely to what your members want and need: The SCA is an organization meant to represent baristas and coffee professionals. Act like it. —Ashley Rodriguez 29

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