This Thursday, October 18th, Seattle’s General Porpoise Pioneer Square location will host a night of discussion on what it means to be an underrepresented person in coffee. Titled Womxn In Coffee, the event will shed light on the “hardships and successes” folx—women, people of color, queer and non-binary individuals—have experienced while working in the coffee industry.

Created by Tatiana Benitez, a barista at General Porpoise and member of #CoffeeToo, Womxn In Coffee aims to “give a pedestal to all of the under represented folx in the industry” in order to “establish a stronger sense of community… and make it known to these marginalized groups that they do have support and they do have allies,” per the Facebook event page.

“I’ve been in the coffee industry for a bit over five years, and the community surrounding has always been super important to me. When I started working in smaller local cafes I realized that there was a lot more discrimination going on. As a woman of color in the industry I was often the target of some of these discriminations. Sexual harassment and discrimination are something that we all know happens in the industry, so why aren’t we talking about it? Why aren’t we giving these people a safe place to talk about their experiences?” Benitez tells Sprudge. “There have been a couple of other woman-in-coffee events in Seattle, and that’s good, but I just couldn’t help but notice that most of the time they focused on successful cis white woman. That’s why my event is more geared towards POC, queer, and non-binary folx.”

To that end, the event has lined up a panel of speakers from the Seattle coffee community to start the conversation about their shared experiences. The panel includes: Fabiola Sanchez (General Porpoise), Molly Flynn (#CoffeeToo, Broadcast Coffee), Rowan Alaka’ilenani Kapanui (Mr. West Cafe), Emily Chavez (Black Rabbit Service Co), and Radhika Kapur (Third Culture Coffee). At the conclusion of the panel, the floor will be opened for a Q&A session with the speakers.

“I think that if we start the conversation and start letting these people use their voice, then things can change,” Benitez states.

Food, beer, and wine—as well as some plant-based ice cream treats from Frankie and Jo’s—will be available for all attendees. Womxn In Coffee is free to attend, but they do ask you RSVP, which can be done here.

For more information about Womxn In Coffee or to read their code of conduct, visit their Facebook event page.

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

All images via Womxn In Coffee

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