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Jun 10, 2020


June 23, 2020

Recent events in the U.S., Canada and globally have shone a disturbing light on racism targeting black citizens, as well as people of colour. In Canada specifically, systemic racial injustices remain an insidious problem.

I am deeply saddened and angered by these tragic events. We are seeing this anger and exasperation manifest in many ways, including protests in several North American cities as well as locally with employees challenging us to be better. I am both hopeful to see the solidarity and grateful for people that speak up.

While I am proud of what we stand for as an organization, I also know we must do better. We need to ensure we are open to listening, learning, and getting better when it comes to genuine inclusion and diversity. We need to have difficult conversations and to define what diversity and inclusion means to us.

In this spirit, we are committed to developing a diversity strategy and laying out a plan for how we will be a more diverse and resilient company. Our strategy and plan need to encourage open and honest dialogue and place value on the best ideas, skills, and experiences that all our employees bring to Sleeman.

Starting with our National Management Team we commit to laying out a strategic plan for how we will get better across recruitment, training, mentoring and promotions. We will commit to donating a defined portion of our retail store sales in Guelph ON and Calgary AB to anti-racist organizations in Canada. Finally, we commit to looking into ways we can be more inclusive in our marketing efforts across all our brands.

While we don’t have all the answers, one thing is clear, our strategy and plan cannot be representative of us as an organization if it’s created in isolation. We need to encourage open and honest dialogue and place value on the best ideas, skills, and experiences that all our employees and stakeholders bring to Sleeman.

It is of the utmost importance that we start addressing systemic racism from within first in order to genuinely help foster a more equitable and inclusive society locally, national and globally. We will only achieve this by working together.


Jesse Hanazawa

President and Chief Operating Officer

Sleeman Breweries Ltd.

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