Berkshire Roots has been actively engaged in building a diverse team and supports groups who can help us achieve those goals. However, over the past week, we have listened, observed, and understand we can and should do more. We stand in solidarity with the peaceful protestors across the country demanding justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and too many other Black people who were murdered and likely faced systemic racism throughout their lives by police, institutions and corporations.
Berkshire Roots is committed to using our voice to end racial injustice within our community and at the national level. That is why we are donating $2,500 each to the Boston and Pittsfield NAACP Chapters, and $2,500 to The Last Prisoner Project, which focuses on three key criminal justice reform initiatives: prisoner release, record clearing through clemency and expungement, and reentry programs for those who are incarcerated for cannabis-related crimes.
We work in the legal cannabis industry and we cannot ignore that we are privileged to do so. For too long, Black people have been disproportionally targeted in cannabis-related crimes. Many are still in prison in states where cannabis has been fully legalized. Earlier this year we donated $10,000 and personnel resources that provide mentorship and job opportunities to those previously incarcerated for cannabis-related offenses through our participation in the Massachusetts CultivatED program.
We are also committed to ensuring racial justice in the workplace and creating a safe, shared space for all our customers and employees to feel comfortable and protected. In order to fulfill our commitment we have donated to and are working with the “Berkshire Resources for Integration of Diverse Groups through Education” (BRIDGE) to integrate diversity & cultural competency trainings into our staff orientation and annual training plans, and to develop processes aimed at creating an environment that is diverse, inclusive, promotes equality, and has zero tolerance for hate or discrimination.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu
Berkshire Roots wants to use our voice and position, and we would like to bring attention to the following organizations, some of which we are actively a part of. We can all do our part to bring about change.
- Campaign Zero
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- Official George Floyd Memorial Fund
- Last Prisoner Project