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In a time of seemingly incessant focus on what divides us, what our differences are; We’ve been trying to focus on what brings us together, what we have in common. Are you having trouble wading through that cloud of negativity too? Okay, we’ll start.

Coffee. Wonderful, magical, invigorating, essential, gorgeous coffee. One of life’s great equalizers. Like music, or a smile. Coffee can break through barriers and disarm even the harshest of tensions. We know what you’re thinking…’you’re going a little too far with this whole coffee-can-save-everything bit’, and you might be right. But as far as we can tell, coffee is an invitation. A motion toward someone or something, inviting dialogue; even the silent kind. It’s a family gathered around a table, after months spent apart, to catch up. It’s a community, united by a common space and a common cup, coming together to discuss the issues of the day. It’s a crop, spanning thousands of miles and continents in the tropics, that families depend on daily not just for caffeine, but for survival. It’s a conversation, with a friend in the midst of trouble or facing a life-changing decision, that spreads out over hours and emotions to find a conclusion.

We begin with coffee, and are honored to share in the livelihoods of hundreds of farmers with you every day; their tireless labor and love expressed in jute bags of unroasted coffee beans coming from destinations we can’t begin to fully describe to you. They face innumerable challenges, societal and agricultural, and persist with vigor, as though they were supplying water to the fountain of youth. They wrestle with real challenges every day, not the least of which is whether they will actually sell their coffee at a price to sustain their families let alone their farms. As a company, Peace Coffee has rooted itself in a commitment to fighting for these farmers’ rights to fair prices and fair treatment.

We feel that back home we are witnessing a threat to our own citizens’ rights unseen in recent memory. In light of that, it’s intrinsic in us to want to speak up, lend a hand, and do what we can to help. We believe that this weekend’s fundraiser for the American Civil Liberties Union at our coffee shop is a small step in doing just that. Regardless of political bias or sentiments, we know and can trust that the ACLU has helped people through many tough situations and adequate funding is necessary for that to continue.

We want them to continue to spread the message that refugees are indeed welcome, and that all are equal within our borders. It is a message that’s a no-brainer for us. Equality is at the core of who we are as a company and as employees of a company. We share different backgrounds, races, beliefs, even preference in coffee roast level, but we abide by our core commitment to individuality. While striving to be a place that celebrates diversity (of people and ideas), positivity, respect, and active participation, we try and create a place where everyone’s voice is heard and represented. We’d like to think those are tenets of our country, but lately it seems the opposite.

So here we are, a coffee company, sitting down at your table and taking time to tell you what is on our heart. We do not do this to persuade you, but to open up our own minds to an issue that is so closely tied with our mission to honor everyone we come in contact with; be it a Sumatran coffee farmer on the hillsides outside of Takengon, or our Muslim neighbors in Minneapolis who are looking for reassurance and maybe a table to sit down at.

#refugeeswelcome #yesequal


Avatar image: owl illustration

Published by Peace Coffee on February 2, 2017.

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