Furthering its commitment to diversity, the Brewers Association (BA) just announced that it has tapped J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham, Ph.D., as its first ever Diversity Ambassador. This is a great idea. Similar to other ambassador roles at the BA, Jackson-Beckham will travel around the country to state guilds and other craft brewing community events to speak on best practices for diversifying both customer bases and staff and to listen to current challenges in this area. She will work closely with the recently established Diversity Committee, helmed by Julie Verratti of Denizens Brewing Co. and comprised of a cross section of industry members of varied backgrounds and geographical regions.
“Craft beer is made by and for everyone,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association. “Diversity and inclusion are opportunities for businesses to lead and succeed. Jackson-Beckham will help to reinforce this idea, identify occasions where efforts can be strengthened and educate our members on being an even more inclusive community. We welcome her to the Brewers Association team.”
An Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Randolph College, Jackson-Beckham has a storied history in the brewing community. She has been an avid homebrewer for over a decade and has researched and written about beer and its place in American culture. She has delivered keynote addresses, presentations and guest lectures on the culture and inclusiveness of craft beer.
“Serving the Brewers Association in this capacity closes the loop on things I have been doing for nearly a decade now. I have been fortunate enough to have successfully combined a genuine passion for craft beer and a career in academia,” said Jackson-Beckham. “I am really grateful for the opportunity to be part of authentic efforts to overcome some of the challenges I’ve spent a good amount of time researching and writing about. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to change how a lot folks in the industry think about diversity and inclusion.”
Jackson-Beckham will make her first appearance as Diversity Ambassador at the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America, in Nashville, Tennessee from April 30-May 3. Her presentation is “A Brewery for All—Tactics for Being Inclusive and Building Diversity.”