Statement delivered to Roasters Guild Retreat attendees on August 19th by Emilio Lopez Diaz, Chair of the Roasters Guild Executive Council. This statement was drafted in collaboration with the attendees who submitted a formal complaint of harassment to the Roasters Guild leadership and SCA staff over incidents that took place the night before.
Roaster's Guild Retreat attendees,
Last night, SCA staff and Roasters Guild leadership were informed that an attendee was displaying a recognized hate symbol on their badge and that a second attendee harassed and intimidated those who reported the display of the symbol. By making this choice, these attendees not only violated the Roasters Guild’s Code of Conduct, but made this educational and professional space unsafe and a hostile working environment to others in the process.
The SCA's Code of Conduct clearly states the following: "SCA maintains a zero tolerance policy for harassment, violent behavior, and sexually offensive behavior or actions. This includes, but it not limited to: harassment toward another individual on the basis of gender, sex, pregnancy, childbirth, religion, creed, race, color, national origin, medical condition, genetic disorder, physical or mental disability, marital status, age or sexual orientation; physical or verbal threats; unwelcome attention; bullying, stalking; use of physical force; behavior that creates a disturbance or is dangerous, including lewd or generally offensive behavior or language; using sexually explicit or offensive language or conduct; and obscene gestures. Anyone found to be behaving in any way that violates this policy, either in person or online, may be removed from the Association without refund and may be banned from future SCA events."
This morning, the Guild and SCA staff hosted a forum in Conference Room 9 where a formal complaint was made by members of our Guild who were made to feel unsafe by the display of the hate symbol. As the organizers of this Retreat, the Roasters Guild and the SCA have decided to remove the violators from the premises effective immediately.
In light of recent events in Charlottesville and across the United States, we want to make it clear to the members of the Roasters Guild and the Association that any display of hate symbolism and harassment cannot and will not be tolerated.
This incident highlights the need to act swiftly when a member of our community feels threatened. We stand here this afternoon to make it clear that the roaster community does not tolerate hate and that the Guild and Association leadership must act to respond quickly and efficiently when incidents like this take place.
On behalf of our leadership, I want to express that we regret that members of our community felt unsafe in what is meant to be a fun and welcoming experience. We are truly sorry. Nobody should ever be made to feel that way and we reiterate our commitment to never letting something like this slip by.
To our wider community, all Retreat attendees, it is very important to us that, if you experience any form of harassment, you know that you can and should report it immediately. If you experience or witness harassment, threatening behavior, or other inappropriate conduct, you are strongly encouraged to promptly find the nearest SCA staff member for assistance.
We want you to enjoy the rest of your time at Retreat and if you need assistance immediately, please come see an Executive Council member. The U.S. Roasting Competition Update event is cancelled and we will instead be having a session for further discussion in the Magnolia Room at 5:30pm. We look forward to seeing you there.