Bittered Sling Bitters | What Does Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Really Look Like
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What Does Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Really Look Like

Photo clipped to drink on stack of books

What Does Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Really Look Like

By Lauren Paylor.

2020 has proven to be a year that has tested our boundaries, pushed our limits and allowed us to reflect on matters and issues that impact the world at large. The rise of racial injustice, increased use of cameras and the time and willingness to fight for what’s right has resulted in discussions about diversity, inclusion and equity. What do all of these words really mean?

Diversity is the presence of diverse or different cultures, as opposed to monoculture. The phrase cultural diversity can also refer to having different cultures respect each other’s differences. Inclusion is an act or practice in which a diverse group of people is culturally and socially accepted, welcomed, and equally respected. Inclusion is a sense of belonging. When equity exists, people have equal access and opportunities. It sets up an advantageous environment for both the employees and the employer.

Now, what do these things look like in our everyday lives? This is a difficult question to answer because it does not look the same in every space and place. In order to truly understand how diversity, inclusion and equity impact our lives and how we can implement them, we have to create safe spaces so that people feel empowered to use their voice. Without communication, changes that are necessary and essential to creating truly equitable spaces cannot exist. When we focus on the personalities and capabilities of the people we hire vs. how they look, diversity will come effortlessly.

Creating Safe Spaces

Consider these things when working towards creating safe spaces.

Be Curious, Not Judgemental – It is easy to jump to conclusions and to make assumptions. Still, it is important to ensure that we remain objective and have all of the facts. It is important to be a good listener but even more essential to be a good responder.

Listen When Someone Says That They Are Hurting Or Feel Harmed. Our biases and personal experiences can sometimes hinder our ability to see how actions affect others. Take the time to listen to people when they say that they are hurt. This will allow us to move towards creating more inclusive environments.

Practice What You Preach – It is easy to become outraged and upset at matters that appear unaligned with our views. Be mindful of why matters upset you and ensure that your actions align with your expectations. Sometimes we can be very critical of others, but it is difficult to admit our faults when we look at ourselves. Nobody is perfect but be mindful of acting in alignment with what you preach.

Mistakes Will Happen Along The Way – We are human; mistakes happen. Be open to humility and lean into the lessons. These mistakes allow others to view matters differently and shape the values they set for themselves.

Be Open and Be Honest – Be honest about how others’ actions make you feel and how they are interpreted. Open expression, honesty and communication are essential to moving towards resolution.

Differences Do Not Have To Create Divide – View differences force us to think critically and consider aspects on the opposing side. Positioning ourselves in a way that is unwilling to listen to differences restricts our growth and our ability to strengthen or debunk our views. When we are in a position where we manage a group of people, this is important. There are several different personalities, views, cultural backgrounds and feelings about matters. Not being open to viewing the world differently can be a major setback to moving towards diversity, inclusion and equity.

Diversity, inclusion and equity are words that have been involved in the conversation for years. We are seeing a lot more action being taken versus just statements being made. In order to make these words tangible, we need to invest time in understanding the underlying issues that affect people who are victims of inequality and racial injustice. It is a difficult matter to tackle, but it most certainly is not impossible.

Lauren Paylor lives and works in Washington, D.C. and is the founder of Focus on Health, a resource for health and wellness in the hospitality industry.

I’ll Be Seeing You 
By Lauren Paylor

This cocktail is inspired by the 1938 song ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’. Listening to this song made me pine for the friends that I haven’t been able to see and the family that I haven’t been able to hug. Instead of mourning the loss and time away from them, I have spent this time focusing on myself in self-reflection.

1.5 oz (45 mL) Hardy Legends Cognac
.75 oz (22 mL) Yuzu Marmalade
.75 oz (22 mL) Lemon juice
2 dashes (2mL) Bittered Sling Arabica Coffee Bitters
1 Coconut Aminos

Shake ingredients and strain into a highball glass with ice. Top with soda, express lemon and discard.

This stack of books has provided me with insight and education during these troubling months. They have taken me on a journey that I’d like to share with all of you.

This stack of books has provided me with insight and education during these troubling months. They have taken me on a journey that I’d like to share with all of you.

The Black Lives Matter movement and my newfound understanding of the importance of community have changed my perception of how I approach conversations and dialogues with people. The matters at hand are complex and sometimes complicated. Still, when we find a balance, the outcome can be empowering and beautiful. We have seen words used as weapons, and the power of education and exposure has proven to be valuable.

Hardy Legends Cognac is an eaux de vie between 2 and 12 years, reduction in 4 steps with light heating Limousin’s oak barrel to keep the Hardy style’s elegance. Citrus, marmalade, coffee and orange are flavours that are prominent in this expression.

I selected the ingredients in my cocktail to emphasize the flavours that make Hardy Legends so obscure and delicious, just like the topics I’ve explored above.

The addition of Yuzu Marmalade will add depth, acidity, sweetness and subtle bitterness to the cocktail. It will amplify the marmalade flavour that naturally exists in the base spirit. The Coffee Bitters are very aromatic, and it’s sweet, smoky characteristic will complement the barrel characteristics in the cognac. The hint of citrus will round out the cocktail, providing additional complexity and depth. The coconut aminos, provide a maritime and umami element to the beverage. Acting the same way salt would on a finished plate of food. Soda binds all of the flavours together and adds a crisp, effervescent quality to the beverage.

This beverage can be replicated easily and is inspired by the Tom Collins.