In support of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) throughout the wine industry, Jackson Family Wines has partnered with Top 100 Retailer and 2021 U.S. Small Business of the Year The Urban Grape on its Wine Studies Award for Students of Color.
Founded in 2020 to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of The Urban Grape, one of the country’s most successful Black and woman-owned beverage alcohol retailers, the Wine Studies Award for Students of Color uses a three-pronged approach of education, work experience and mentorship.
The program’s goal is to create opportunities for career advancement and prepare BIPOC students for careers in the wine industry that can grow generational wealth among its participants, while also increasing diversity in the wine industry.
As part of this partnership, Jackson Family Wines will host the three-month paid winery internship phase of the program to provide real-world, on-the-job training to the scholarship winners. Jackson Family Wines will also support the program financially by covering some expenses of the participants while on their winery internship, including travel and housing.
“Diversifying an industry is hard work. Many large wine industry businesses promised big changes in 2020, but very few followed through with actionable programs,” says Hadley Douglas, Cofounder and President of The Urban Grape and Progressive Wine Company in Boston. “Jackson Family Wines is one of the few companies we’ve seen that has not walked away from this conversation, but has instead found ways to dig in even deeper and to commit for the long haul.”
“Jackson Family Wines’ desire to work with us to grow this program shows that change can happen when small and large businesses join their resources together,” she adds.
As part of its Rooted for Good: Roadmap to 2030 climate action and social corporate responsibility initiative launched in August 2021, Jackson Family Wines committed to growing and supporting talent from groups currently underrepresented in roles at every level in the wine and spirits industry: Black, African American, Hispanic, Latino and Latina, Indigenous, Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+; as well as other underrepresented groups.
“We’re proud to continue making progress on building opportunities for people of color within the wine industry through meaningful partnerships with leading changemakers, like TJ and Hadley Douglas,” says Katie Jackson, Second Generation Proprietor and SVP of Corporate Social Responsibility at Jackson Family Wines. “Building more diversity, equity, and inclusion within the global wine industry remains a priority for Jackson Family Wines and we’re excited to make an impact through the Urban Grape Wine Studies Award for Students of Color program.”
Applications for the Fourth Cohort of the scholarship program opens on January 23, 2023. People can learn more and apply at theurbangrape.shop/pages/wine-studies-award.
“Too often over my 25 years in the wine industry I’ve been the only person of color in the room. My wife Hadley and I began this program to change that experience for future generations,” says Urban Grape Cofounder and CEO TJ Douglas. “Originally, I thought that opening my own successful wine business would be my legacy, but now I know that helping to diversify the industry — both who works in it and who sees themselves represented by it — is my real life’s work.”