Bell’s among 700 breweries taking part in ‘Black Is Beautiful’ initiative

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Hundreds of breweries across the country are taking part in an initiative to stand up for the Black community as the push for racial justice continues.

It’s called “Black is Beautiful” and is more than just words to Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo but rather a movement. The company is using this campaign to give back to the Black community.

“When we see an injustice, it’s our responsibility to respond internally and externally,” said Jay Maddock, the equity and inclusion specialist for Bell’s Brewery.

Maddock says it’s the part of the company’s mission to make sure everyone has a voice.

“I think right now it’s important to lift up the stories and messages of Black lives,” said Maddock.

As part of the nationwide Black is Beautiful initiative, Bell’s is joining more than 700 other breweries across the country to bring awareness to injustices facing people of color.

Maddock says they plan to make donations to two Black-led organizations: the Kalamazoo NAACP and Face Off Theatre.

“This is just coming at a really great time when we’re looking to go to the next level of making sure that we can be the best that we can be for the Kalamazoo community,” said Marissa Harrington, the artistic director for Face Off Theatre.

Harrington says the organization’s goal is to provide diverse theatre to the area year-round. She says she’s glad more people on hopping on board the Black Lives Matter movement.

“It has always been important. I think what we’re experiencing right now with this country is everyone else joining us on what we have been saying for years and years and years,” said Harrington.

Harrington says she’s hopeful for the future.

“As long as we are all working together to make sure that these voices are important, Black lives matter, it’s just, we’ll have a better place for them to live in,” said Harrington.

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