The second annual American Cider Association BIPOC Scholarship is now accepting applicants. Partnering with diversity- and equity-focused craft beverage industry nonprofit Beer Kulture, the American Cider Association (ACA) seeks to bring five BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, person of color) beverage professionals to CiderCon for their first time. Introduced last year as a facet of the ACA Equity Pledge, the inaugural scholarship was sponsored by Washington, D.C.-based ANXO Cider. This year’s scholarship is sponsored by Washington’s Yonder Cider.
“The scholarship grew out of the work that the American Cider Association is focused on with our Antiracism, Equity and Inclusion Committee and is part of a broader effort to create a more diverse and welcoming cider community,” says Michelle McGrath, Executive Director of the ACA.
The scholarship pays for 2023 CiderCon ® conference registration; travel expenses including airfare to Chicago and lodging for attending; as well as the Certified Cider Professional Level 1 bundle (exam included), two Certified Cider Professional Sensory Webinars (cider included), and the registration fee for the Certified Pommelier Exam — the ACA’s second level of cider education.
“Having the Equity Pledge alongside specific panels at CiderCon focusing on diversity and inclusion is a first step in creating a space where our scholarship recipients can feel comfortable and welcome at CiderCon,” says McGrath. Based on advice from Beer Kulture and feedback from last year’s scholarship recipients, McGrath notes, “we also launched our BIPOC cider meetup and a new networking event for first-time CiderCon attendees.”
BIPOC beverage professionals at any point in their career trajectory — particularly those who are new to cider and specifically those who have yet to attend CiderCon — are encouraged to apply. Applications are due by December 10, 2022. After a round of finalist interviews, scholarship winners will be notified on December 21, 2022. CiderCon 2023 will take place January 31 through February 3, 2023, in Chicago.