The Response. Let's Do the Work.
THANK YOU! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all my family, friends, and colleagues who texted, emailed, Tweeted, and shared my open letter on yesterday. So many people in and out of the wine industry reached out to me. Now the real work begins.
I received a personal response from Karen last night. I am glad Karen took the time to respond. She could have dismissed it, but she didn't. I believe the post will give her and many others a new perspective on their wine writing and work. Thank you, Karen. I am posting a photo of the email and the copy here.
I believe in this new career I have embarked on. I believe in working together to be the change we want to see in the world. I know this open letter will help all wine industry leaders, journalists, public relations teams, producers, and winemakers to research. and get out of our comfort zone. It's time to comfortable with being uncomfortable.
I ask you to read the response as you did the open letter. You take away what you need to take away. In the future, I expect the wine industry to be better. If you see something, say something, and then DO something. One comment left on the blog said what needed to be said, "For people inside the room, it's always hard to understand why simply unlocking the door isn't good enough to encourage diversity. We have to open the door and invite people in and we haven't done that."
As for me, I will continue to focus my work on education not only in wine but in humanity. I am not only doing this for me. It is for every person who has been and is currently being marginalized, not seen, heard, or valued who will come after me to work in the world of wine. Let's get started.
It sounds like a cliche, but I am hopeful.
Hi Julia: thank you for writing your courageous open letter. I completely agree with you. The wine industry is shockingly un-diverse. As a white woman, I cannot accurately imagine how it feels to be in the glass box you describe, but I am sure that women of color have alot of glass around them and it all needs to shatter...the sooner the better. When I reached out to women in leadership roles to interview for my piece, I did not think about race. I DID try to include women from all parts of the industry--from winemakers to sommeliers, to sales people. That none of those women happened to be women of color is emblematic of your point. Frankly, there aren't many women of color in the wine industry at all, and like you, I believe that needs to change and that the industry will be stronger for it. I do believe that as Madeline Albright says, "There's a special place in hell for women who don't help other women." I hope I'm doing my part to help other women. In my small office in the Napa Valley, we have an all woman staff. Until just recently, one person was Asian, one African American and one Latina, plus me. Thank you again for your letter. And please feel free to post this on your Facebook page should you wish to. Best regards, Karen MacNeil