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Oregon commits to ‘anti-racism and equity’

Published:  10 June, 2020

As the fallout from the death of African-American George Floyd continues to reverberate around the western world, Oregon Wine Board has responded with a commitment to embed “more fully” an inclusive and racially equal approach across the state’s wine industry.

The announcement comes after Floyd’s murder by a US police officer pushed the Black Lives Matter movement back to the top of the agenda in the US and elsewhere.

In a statement headed ’Our Commitment to Change’, Oregon Wine Board’s directors said they have been “processing and reflecting” on their responsibility in the fight for racial equality and the power the platform provided by the Oregon wine industry could play in a contributing to a “just and equitable” state.

“For us to productively harness this power, we must first become more educated, aware and accountable ourselves, both as people and as professionals,” said the generic body.

“This work will enable us to help Oregon’s wine industry welcome and serve all - visitors, members of the trade, industry professionals - with equal respect and opportunity.”

Backing up these initial commitments, the body has announced a five-year plan involving education and training on aspects of equity and inclusion, along with understanding of the ways that racism “historically and presently shapes our industry”.

“We are actively reviewing our programs, which span education, marketing, media relations and research, to identify where we can take meaningful, sustained action,” said the board, while also aiming to actively recruit for diversity and amplify minority-owned Oregon wine and tourism businesses.

“It is our goal that in time, the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion will be proudly interwoven into the practices and processes of the Oregon Wine Board as part of our organizational DNA.”