Gratitude from Ann Tuennerman and a Determination to Embrace Change
Through publicly acknowledging the pain Paul and I have caused to many in our industry, we hope to demonstrate our sincerity, transparency and commitment to facing this head on. We've taken ownership of our actions and comments, and they are in no way a representation of our staff or the hundreds of others who work to bring Tales of the Cocktail to life each year.
Our apologies came from our hearts. We didn’t know what to expect, only that it was the first step toward openly engaging with those that were hurt by our actions. We have been overwhelmed by thousands of supportive emails, phone calls and messages. We are so touched by the genuine encouragement from friends, community leaders and people of every background, including many from around the globe. We also thank our sponsors who are standing by us and who believe we will make things right. In addition, the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club expressed its support, which means a lot to us. But this is just the first step.
As I stated in my public apology, the question of fair and equal representation for bartenders of color at Tales of the Cocktail and in our industry in general has been raised. On Monday, during our live session on Facebook, my intent is to listen to insights from those in our industry who have been confronting issues of racial discrimination and insensitivity for years. Our hope is to better understand how Tales of the Cocktail might become a platform for fostering much-needed diversity within our industry and, we hope, a model for other industries to emulate.
For those who are still not convinced, we hear you and we are determined to win your support through concrete actions that make change a reality, not a slogan. We are all in this together.
To view Ann's public apology posted on March 3rd, 2017, click here.