on anti-racism

Anti-racism work is a commitment that we practice, not just post. Our work continues outside of this screen, within our company, alongside our staff, and individually. Our commitment to justice and organizing are values we’ve integrated into our business thoughtfully and intentionally from day one. This includes solidarity and support of our Black, Indigenous, non-black POC, LGBTQIA+, Immigrant, Refugee, & Disabled communities. If you know us/follow us/patron us, we hope you have seen and experienced that over the last three years.

Part of our original vision statement was as follows: We are committed to being a welcoming and inclusive anchor in our community, and for our company to embody equity values, in staffing, partnerships, and how we engage with our city and the coffee industry as a whole. For accountability sake, a list of what that commitment has looked like is listed below.

Much love and respect to our baristas for the work they’re doing individually and for showing up for each other as friends and allies.

We have by no means arrived, but we will keep practicing and modeling our commitment through our actions.

In unequivocal solidarity with and for Black lives,

Monarch

past, Current, & ongoing anti-racism practices

Inclusive hiring & promotion. Currently 55% of our employees are BIPOC

Inclusivity expectation for all employees to adhere to. This is included in our interview process. It is made clear before anyone is hired that we do not tolerate discrimination and expect our employees to treat everyone with dignity and respect regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, religion, age, or socioeconomic status

Zero tolerance policy for racial discrimination, sexual harassment, homophobia, or transphobia

Hiring BIPOC vendors and small businesses as a matter of practice for events and parties. Food vendors, artists, etc.

Anti-racism training opportunities for our employees through our relationship with Open Table KC

Hosting anti-racism training opportunities for the KC coffee community, as well as the national coffee community during the USBCs hosted in Kansas City in 2019

Sponsor and co-organizer of bringing speaker and anti-racism activist Rachel Cargle to Kansas City last year for a public lecture. Sponsoring and hosting her anti-racism training in our cafe’s event space.

Regular donation of the use of our event space for BIPOC led community gatherings for students & non-profit organizations

2018: voter registration drives ahead of midterm elections

Owner organized and facilitated a book club series featuring books authored by Black women

Regular Saturday Story Time for kids (pre-COVID) with a local educator. Books choices were conscious of the importance of literary representation and focused on books celebrating diverse authors, characters, family types, and culture, as well as empathy, emotional intelligence, inclusion, and self-love.

Ongoing use of our social media platforms to promote Black owned businesses in our industry, and to amplify community and national initiatives. The current climate in our country directly impacts our staff, customers, and community. We have a platform, and we will continue to use it.

May-June 2020: supported our staff’s desire to protest and protested alongside them

June 2020: Personal donations to Black baristas and protesters.

Personal work: ongoing unlearning and re-education through books, documentaries, speaker series, and workshops.

We follow the local leadership of One Struggle KC and SURJ-KC, organizations in Kansas City who are explicitly anti-racist. Through their public communications, we continue to follow the lead of Black voices in our community and listen to the actionable steps they want to see in KC. 

We are actively discussing how we can be of the most use in our community and industry, and how we can best use our position and platform for increased awareness and action. There is still much to do.