Eight Scholarships Awarded to BIPOC Recipients Across the Country for CiderCon® 2023

Yonder Cider®, Beer Kulture and the American Cider Association (ACA) are excited to announce the awardees of the 2023 CiderCon® BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Scholarship. Eight individuals – including six cider passionate individuals and two media attendees – received scholarships to attend the annual conference, taking place January 31 – February 2 in Chicago, Illinois. This scholarship is designed to bring people of color from historically marginalized groups to CiderCon® to increase the accessibility of cider education and jump-start the careers of these cider professionals. Receiving more applicants than the previous year, the scholarship – now in its second year – has grown from three scholarships to eight, with awardees from seven different states across the country.

“This scholarship is really a gift for the cider industry as a whole,” said Caitlin Braam, founder of Yonder Cider and founding chair of the ACA’s Antiracism, Equity and Inclusion committee. “Diversity brings more ideas, new creativity, and broader perspectives, ultimately making a stronger and better cider community. It’s encouraging to see the efforts of this committee continue to grow and it’s truly a privilege for Yonder to be able to fund this important initiative.”

Each scholarship includes registration, travel and lodging to attend CiderCon® 2023 in Chicago. Additionally, scholarship recipients are offered training materials and waived exam fees to pursue becoming a Certified Cider Professional and Certified Pommelier™.

This year’s awardees include:

Scholarship Awardees

  • Monique Gray, California
  • Anthony Lopez, California       
  • Gabriela Muñoz, Minnesota
  • Olivia Pener, Missouri
  • LaShanda Poteat, North Carolina
  • Chanell Williams, Washington

Media Sponsorship Awardees

  • Adrian Luna-Verduga, New Jersey
  • Ruvani de Silva, Texas

This scholarship is part of a broader effort by the ACA to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion. In 2019 the ACA launched the Antiracism, Equity and Inclusion committee which recognizes diversity, equity and inclusion as an important and necessary part of present and future successes of the cider industry. This committee structures its work around a belief that existing structures of power, privilege and discrimination must be actively questioned and evaluated in order to create equitable opportunities in an environment that embraces and values our differences. They strive to create events, opportunities and organizational policies that embody these values, and to continue evaluating these practices for sustained growth and improvement.

The ACA first partnered with Beer Kulture in 2021. Beer Kulture works in the broader craft beverage space to support professional opportunities for people of color. “By bringing more people of color into the craft beverage industry at every level, we aim to create new possibilities, not just as workers, but as founders, too. This is our hope for cider and why we’re excited about these scholarships,” said Latiesha Cook, CEO and President, Beer Kulture.

“This scholarship is one of many ACA initiatives to create a more diverse cider industry,” says Michelle McGrath, Executive Director of the ACA. “The scholarship needs to work in lock step with our efforts to create a more inclusive industry so that, as we have more diverse CiderCon attendees, they are surrounded by a welcoming community and equitable environment.”

CiderCon® is the world’s premier networking and educational event for the professional cidermaking community. CiderCon® 2023 will take place in Chicago, Illinois from January 31 – February 3, 2023 at the Hilton Chicago. Registration is now open and available at ciderassociation.org/cidercon2023. Individuals interested in applying for the CiderCon® Scholarship next year are encouraged to sign up for notifications here.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.