LOS ANGELES, California – In an effort to create safe, empathetic spaces in the beer industry, Highland Park Brewery and Breaking Silence, a nonprofit, are collaborating to drive the conversation around interpersonal violence prevention in the alcohol industry. Their most recent endeavor: launching a beer on September 13 that has a story to tell. The “Breaking Silence” beer is a Double Dry Hopped West Coast Pilsner, and through its namesake aims to be a part of cultivating an increasing interest in safety training and addressing interpersonal violence within the beer industry.
Breaking Silence and Highland Park Brewing have come together to facilitate a culture shift and emphasis on safety in the beer industry. Breaking Silence’s mission is to create safe spaces where empathy and connection thrive. They do this by offering an empathy development training for breweries and bars that is focused on giving individuals the tools they need to start having hard conversations, intervening faster when something is “off”, and how we can create kind spaces for everyone.
The decision to create safety trainings in the beer industry came to Alli Meyerhardt, executive director of Breaking Silence, after spending nine years working with college campuses throughout Colorado, Oregon, and California. As someone who worked in the industry for many years, she witnessed and experienced the culture of sexism and harassment that was percolating right under the surface. As reported in 2021, thousands of women have come forward in recent years to sharing their experiences of workplace discrimination and allegations of sexual harassment and assault in the beer industry, which has led to numerous investigations.
“We have always focused on alcohol safety as a form of prevention. It is a substance that is used in the majority of sexual assaults for people between the ages of 18-24. So to move into the brewery specifically was a natural progression,” said Meyerhardt. “Craft beer is about bringing people together, about unity and togetherness. That is the heart of it, which is why programs like the one Breaking Silence offers seem to be a natural fit in a space wanting to become more inclusive.”
The beer will be available in the HPB tap room starting on September 13 and from 5-10 PMrepresentatives from Breaking Silence will be present with information on the organization and giveaways for those that purchase the beer. A percentage of the proceeds will go to benefit the nonprofit as they continue their work in violence prevention.
The Breaking Silence beer is only part of the ongoing partnership between the nonprofit and brewery as they will continue to drive progress in the beer industry. On August 26th, Highland Park hosted Breaking Silence and Safe Bar Network for a town hall that was aimed at furthering the work that these organizations are doing within LA.
About Breaking Silence
Breaking Silence is committed to inspiring communities to take action against interpersonal violence through the power of empathy, healing, and open dialogue.
Creating safe spaces starts with understanding how to have hard, empathetic conversations. As an organization we give bars and breweries the tools to counteract the impact that interpersonal violence has on our everyday lives. We guide your employees through an interactive and engaging training that leaves individuals with the ability to start having hard conversations and intervene faster when something is off.
Throughout the training, we simply ask that you lean in, get curious and practice empathy
Note: Breaking Silence Is a project of the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center (CNDC). Through this Sponsorship we are able operate under the umbrella of CNDC’s legal and tax status without having to form our own 501(c)(3), giving us the freedom to be mission and outcome focused.
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