Imbibe 75 Organization To Watch: The Roots Fund - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Imbibe 75 Organization To Watch: The Roots Fund

After the social media campaign Blackout Tuesday in June 2020, many initiatives and organizations were launched to address the lack of diversity and inclusion within the wine industry. But to the founders of The Roots Fund— executive director Ikimi Dubose, Hue Society founder Tahiirah Habibi, and Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy Jr.—the conversations and pledges of action that began on Blackout Tuesday must be followed by accountability.

Committed to empowering and investing in underrepresented minorities in wine, The Roots Fund is supported by a growing network of wine brands and companies that will provide opportunities to Black, Indigenous, and Latinx individuals seeking a career and education in wine. “In order to remain committed to advancing the work of Black wine professionals nationwide, brands have to enter Black spaces to make the change, with actionable steps to move forward,” Dubose says. “They have to commit to acknowledging the lack of diversity in their businesses, and then look at the systems they’ve built that have excluded the BIPOC community. Support is more than just making a donation—it’s about mentorship and creating job opportunities.”

The Roots Fund is focused on longevity in supporting people of color in the industry, as this will allow them to hold brands and companies accountable. “We’re doing work for the long haul,” Dubose says. “There are so many ways into the wine industry, and we want to provide support for them all.”

The Roots Fund’s latest scholarship, “Rooted in France,” is in partnership with Domaine Dujac and the Burgundy School of Wine & Spirits Business. Created to provide a life-changing educational experience for a student at a historically Black college or university, the full scholarship will take recipients to the Burgundy School of Wine & Spirits Business in France to pursue a master’s in wine management and an MBA in wine & spirits business.

Click here to learn more about The Roots Fund and to donate to their efforts.

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