France 44 BIPOC
The uprising that followed the murder of George Floyd in 2020 shook our community deeply, and we continue to feel the effects. As a business that has members of the public come through our doors every day, France 44 is cognizant of the role we play as a locus for the Linden Hills neighborhood and beyond. Since the summer of 2020, we have engaged in a multitude of conversations revolving around racial equity, asking how we can contribute as a business, and how we can be a role model for others in our industry.
Income disparity between white and black citizens is profound in Minneapolis. Historical and widespread racism in housing law, highway planning, educational zoning, and many other facets of city life have contributed to this problem for generations. Experts have pointed to closing the income gap as a significant factor towards improving the quality of life for black citizens. We recognize that education plays a major role in income attainment, with higher education and other specialized training often correlating directly to higher wages. Unfortunately, education is expensive, and without financial support targeted directly to black citizens it is very challenging for many in that community to get access to education.
France 44 Wines & Spirits Education offers a real and tangible pathway for our business to make an impact towards closing the racial income gap in Minneapolis and beyond. Specialized wine and spirits education through programs like WSET has a proven track record of increasing the earning potential of successful students. Careers in wholesaling, distribution, importation, fine dining, distilling, winemaking, alcohol education, and liquor retail all offer significant opportunities for professional advancement, lucrative employment, and meaningful work. The key to breaking into many of these roles within these industries (especially wine) is education, and due to the expense and inaccessibility of this education for many BIPOC populations—among other factors—these industries remain disproportionately white.
In order to help remedy this deficit in our industry, France 44 Wines & Spirits Education is excited to announce a scholarship program to assist BIPOC candidates pursue a career in the wine industry.
The France 44 BIPOC Education Scholarship covers full tuition for any WSET course offered by France 44 Wines & Spirits Education. Transportation, lodging, and meals are not included, although the scholarship committee is open to discussion regarding individual, need-based situations. Scholarship recipients will be selected based on demonstrated need and merit and must work and reside in the United States. Scholarship recipients must register for their course within four weeks of notification.