When I proposed starting this blog to DF and Matt, one key component I wanted our blog to focus on is the sense of community that craft beer culture evokes. I am a Women’s Study major currently finishing up my last semester at Langara College, and will be transferring to SFU to finish my BA in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. Being a strong ally, giving back to the community through volunteering, fighting for human rights, equality, and social justice are central aspects to my daily life.
It is not very often that my two biggest passions —craft beer and social justice— meet. However, I am lucky enough to work for a brewery that continually gives back to the community. For the second year in a row, Steel & Oak has partnered up with Monarch Place for the holiday season. (You can view last year’s press release here!)
Monarch Place is a transition house for women and children to temporary reside in while they escape from domestic abuse. It is located in New Westminster, BC and relies on donations in order to maintain operation.
During the month of December, Steel & Oak will be donating $1.00 from every fill of Royal City Ale to Monarch Place. Why is this important? Because it starts a conversation. It begins dialogue, which contributes towards actively engaging with people about how to help end violence against women.
In 2013, 175,000 victims of police-reported violent crime were women, accounting for just over half (52%) of all victims of violent crime.
About four in ten female victims (41%) were victimized by an intimate partner, a proportion which was 3.5 times higher than for men (12%). Stats Canada, 2014.
Last year, every single time someone asked me about Monarch Place, I felt tears well up in my eyes. That is because I am a survivor of domestic abuse, and even though I am healing, I am still susceptible to triggers. I am lucky enough to have a plethora of supportive people in my life; I also had a safe haven away from the confines of the violent house I lived in. However, not everyone has that luxury. That is why spaces like Monarch Place are so crucial.
As I mentioned above, Steel & Oak is driven by community. Kat Davidson, a friend and fellow beer-slinger, touched base on community at Steel & Oak in the latest issue of Tenth to the Fraser (you can read it here). I could write an entire post about the unique situation employees of Steel & Oak find themselves in, as we operate more like a family than anything else (but I’ll save that post for another day).
I would like to acknowledge how wonderful it is to give back to the community, especially towards the safe spaces that rely on neighbourhood support and finances.