With her blogpost “The Black Cup of Excellence: Being Black in Specialty Coffee” from June of this year, Michelle Johnson moved the issues of race and diversity in the specialty coffee industry squarely to the fore and raised important points for us all to consider regardless of our role in the industry. Here, she provides some concrete and actionable solutions, both individually as well as ideologically, that we need to put into practice if we are to become a diverse, open, and sustainable industry.

Again, this one is for everyone to watch: even if you think you’re already doing good work in this direction, it’s always possible to do more. Notebook and pencil recommended!

Michelle Johnson is a Phoenix-based independent coffee professional, community leader, and project director for the creative startup, Royal & Design (@royalanddesign). She’s lived in Phoenix for three years, but is originally from the Washington, DC area, where she was exposed to specialty coffee through Counter Culture. Even though she’s no longer behind the bar full-time, Michelle is active in her local coffee community, planning semi-monthly events with her partner-in-coffee, Braden. When Michelle is not doing something coffee-related, taking photos, managing her creative partners/friends, or traveling, she’s sleeping because she’s doing at least one of those things when she’s awake. Champagne is her 2016 drink of choice. Drake is her king. You can read her thoughts on being a Black woman in specialty coffee and other random things over at thechocolatebarista.com.

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