Black Lives Matter - July 1, 2020 Updates

Published July 01 2020

In an effort to remain as transparent as possible, below is an up to date list of action steps, policy changes and progress made to date, in an effort to make Milk Bar a more inclusive and diverse place.


1. Protecting our people with internal policy changes: 

      • We have established weekly Black Lives Matter open forums for all active employees where anyone can share thoughts, concerns, and hear more from the company - each forum is dedicated to different topics, from Black history and Black Lives Matter education to how we can all use our voices. 
      • We have partnered with a third-party company to provide a hotline available to all active team members specifically for the purpose of reporting harassment and/or discrimination, in addition to our existing communication channels. We’re also working on adding more anonymous surveys for the team and physical comment boxes onsite at all flagship locations and commissaries.
      • We will continue to roll out our unconscious bias training on a more frequent basis and expand this training to all team members, and are looking to add more D&I training similar to this, especially for our team members in leadership positions.


      2. Shifting our structures: 

          • We have begun the creation of a Black affinity group and are building the structures for additional affinity groups to form in the near future. 
          • We are taking time to revitalize our hiring practices and make them more diverse by means of expanding our recruitment channels, looking at ways that we can introduce removing areas for bias from resume reviews and anonymizing job applications, and increasing our unconscious bias and D&I training for hiring managers and soon-to-be-hiring managers.


          3. Empowering our team to vote, and making it easier for them to do so: 

              • We established an additional 8 hours of paid time off for employees to vote, register to vote, canvass, or volunteer in a campaign. 
              • We’ve shared resources internally and dedicated a forum entirely to voting so our team is more informed and motivated to vote.


              4. Supporting the Black community:  

                  • As a company and as individuals, we are committed to uplifting and amplifying Black voices and businesses, particularly in the food space. We have shared many resources to our active team members and our public around how they can support the Black community, too. We have a lot of work to do here, and like everything else, will continue to keep everyone as up to date as possible.


                  5. Donating: 

                      • We felt it was important to survey the entire company and hear from them where they’d like us to donate. The majority chose Campaign Zero, which we proudly donated to.
                      • We are working through some meaningful ways to partner with organizations long term, to not only donate money, but also our time, our resources, know-how, and access to our networks — this will not happen overnight, but we will keep everyone apprised on the latest. 
                      • Along with our Campaign Zero donation made from the company as well as through our participation in Bakers Against Racism, we implemented a donation element on our website that allows anyone shopping there to add on a donation to either Black Lives Matter or The Innocence Project, also chosen by our team. 


                      6. Empowering our team to use their voices:  

                          • It’s more important than ever that our team feels empowered to use their voice - not only in supporting the Black Lives Matter movement (whether it be through protesting or sharing information on their personal feeds) but also within the walls of Milk Bar. For this reason, our weekly forums have been more critical than ever.
                          • We recently established The Milk Bar Legal Support Initiative to provide Milk Bar team members (many of whom are out protesting daily) with resources, legal aid connections, and help with legal fees associated with arrests made during peaceful protesting. 
                          • We’ve also developed a Sponsorship Team, composed of directors and senior leaders, that team members can reach out to if for any reason they are not comfortable talking with their direct manager. This team will also be responsible for working with our team members to develop the Black affinity group listed above and holding the company accountable to short and long term D&I goals.  
                          • We have also committed to educating the team and sharing educational resources that we hope will empower them to use their voices, now and always.