-Statement by Dead Sled CEO, Diana Whittles-
My father taught me that politics and business make terrible bedfellows.
To discuss your political views with customers and clients and vendors was just asking for trouble.
I do not make it a habit to talk politics or religion and certainly not on the business side.
These are different times and it’s important that you our family members know where Dead Sled Coffee stands on current issues so I will break our silence, though I’m honestly surprised that we’ve been called out to do so.
I’m not surprised that you are asking. I’m surprised you don’t already know the obvious answer.
Dead Sled Coffee was founded on the memory of my father. A man who in his youth, long before he started his own company went to Brooklyn College to obtain his law degree.
While in college in the 1950s he started working for the NAACP on the law side and would go from door to door in minority occupied neighborhoods offering support and solidarity and knowledge.
When he founded his company he chose as his factory foreman a convicted felon and former Black Panther member. His employees were all immigrants of color as was his bookkeeper. His most trusted right hand woman was an amazing woman from Cuba who defected and swam to Miami.
He loved them all as family and never once saw them for the color of their skin or their past. They were the humans he chose to trust his company to and he trained each of them teaching them side by side. The loyalty was mutual with the majority literally being part of his company from the day it opened to the day it closed.
I grew up watching this behavior and when it came time for me to create my own business I leaned heavily on both what I had seen and what I had been taught.
When you create a company one of the first things you sit with is “What do I want my company to look like? What are the beliefs I want to found my company on?”
Dead Sled Coffee was founded on the belief that we should all be equal in all things. Nobody is less than, nobody is greater than. The world is so beautiful and full of wonders and magic to spend our time hating and hurting genuinely saddens us.
Of course Dead Sled Coffee supports and stands in solidarity with the peaceful effort to bring about long overdue change. Hate, racism, bigotry and fear are cancers and have no place in our world or this company.
We believe in forward motion, change and education. We wish for peace and equality. For all people.
We have donated both financially and in product to efforts and groups we feel strongly about. We will never stop the philanthropic side of things as supporting and giving are important to us. We just don’t feel right using our moments of doing what we feel is right and efforts to support as photo opportunities or promotional material. That feels slick and cheapens the reason behind the action. It stops being about what is right and becomes more about showing you our customers an advertisement which it should never be. Just because you our Dead Sled Coffee family doesn’t see it does not mean it’s not happening.
Dead Sled Coffee will never stand for the bully. Not in this case, not historically and never in the future.
We will always support the peaceful strive for the change of grave imbalance and injustice.
We don’t know any other way to be.