With the goal of fostering a more diverse craft beer industry, the Brewers Association named J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham, Ph.D. as its first-ever Diversity Ambassador. As an avid homebrewer and assistant professor of communication studies at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia, she has written and spoken extensively on beer’s role in our culture, as well as its potential for more inclusivity.
“Serving the Brewers Association in this capacity ‘closes the loop’ on things I have been doing for nearly a decade now. I have been fortunate enough to have successfully combined a genuine passion for craft beer and a career in academia,” Jackson-Beckham said in the press release. “I am really grateful for the opportunity to be part of authentic efforts to overcome some of the challenges I’ve spent a good amount of time researching and writing about. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to change how a lot folks in the industry think about diversity and inclusion.”
Jackson-Beckham will work closely with the recently-established Diversity Committee, alongside Denizen Brewing Co. owner Julie Verratti and a diverse group of industry members. As a large part of her role, Jackson-Beckham will travel the country to speak at state guild and brewing events on the best ways to foster diversity in the industry, both in staffing and in customer bases.
For more info, see the official announcement from the BA.