Being in the coffee business can help give one a sense of belonging to the larger global community. This was not how I was raised, but greater consciousness came gradually. A chance meeting of a coffee farmer from Zimbabwe in 1992 had me paying closer attention to the eventual land reforms of the late 1990's. The Rwandan genocides in the spring and summer of 1994 felt closer than I thought possible because of my connection to coffee. My marriage into an immigrant family and their stories of exile from Uganda under threat of violence. The tsunamis that hit southeast Asia in 2004 became more personal from a connection to coffee-growing communities in Indonesia. Recent volcanic eruptions in coffee-producing areas of Guatemala and Hawaii. Gradually the entire world became my community. Our responsibility. We are all connected and need each other. There is no "them" only "us".
This is why it is unconscionable to me what our government and fellow humans are doing at our southern border. The person to person violence being committed in the name of safety, rules, religion, sovereignty or just politics is nauseating and offends every fiber of my being. How does one on either side of the violence ever recover from this? How does someone ever feel peace or safety again?
We started Highwire with the vague and broad intention of doing "good". At the time we saw this very locally in terms of providing good jobs. Paying more than minimally required by law. Healthcare and paid time off. Giving voice to people to improve their workplace. Caring about each other. Supporting other small businesses. Reducing our carbon footprint. Donating to our schools and community organizations. And for the most part, those are the forms our modest efforts to do good have taken.
With the horrors taking place on our border and the attendant suffering they are causing our fellow humans we have to continually ask more of ourselves. How do we show up as people who want to see more kindness, more justice, more compassion in the world stand up against those who would actively harm or dehumanize others? I wish I had better answers than I do. I feel at a loss right now. So small and powerless. But we have to do something. We have to be examples of hope and courage in this world. So we'll try.
This week, Highwire Coffee will be gathering funds to donate to groups working for justice along the United States/Mexico border. We will donate a percentage of every cup of drip coffee and bag of our Conscientious Objector blend to these groups with the intention of amplifying the heart and will of everyone who cannot sit silently while such wrong is being done in our name.
on behalf of everyone in the Highwire Coffee family.