Black Bourbon Society was founded by Samara Rivers with the goal of connecting the spirits industry with Black & African American bourbon enthusiasts. Realizing that there was a lack of direct consumer marketing geared towards the BIPOC community in the spirits industry and that most bourbon brands had no idea how much their popularity has grown within those communities, Rivers was moved into action to create new spaces.
Through various tiered offerings on their digital platforms, social media, brand-partnered events and exclusive excursions, Black Bourbon Society reaches over 10,0000 members and counting. The organization also recently announced the launch of Diversity Distilled, a consulting arm established to advise spirits brands on how they can create and implement effective diversity and inclusion policies within their corporate structures.
Utilizing her over 10 years of experience in event planning, since launching Black Bourbon Society, Samara has served on the 2017 Tales of the Cocktail Diversity Council, writes a monthly editorial column for the Bourbon Zeppelin Newsletter, and is a frequent guest co-host on The Bourbon Daily Show. She is also a Stave & Thief Society Executive Bourbon Steward and advocates for diversity and inclusion within the spirits industry. Her partner in life and the Black Bourbon Society, husband Armond Davis, is the host the Bonded In Bourbon podcast and has been Recently deemed as East Bay Express’ “Most Influential Bourbon Drinker.”
The Black Bourbon Society shared the following corporate statement on their Instagram page:
“Over the past four years, Black Bourbon Society has become the leading voice for consumers of colour advocating for diversity and inclusion within the spirits industry.
“We have created collaborative content and programming through our social media platforms and curated events and experiences that facilitated genuine engagement between Bourbon brands and our membership throughout the country.
“We have also provided valuable insight on our demographic that dispels marketing stereotypes that the brands once relied on to create their marketing and target audience strategies. We are extremely proud of the progress that BBS [Black Bourbon Society] has made in its advocacy but know that we’ve only scratched the surface of tackling the historic and systematic issues of implicit bias, racism, diversity and inclusion within the spirits industry.”
“As mentioned in our recent ‘Open Letter to the Bourbon Industry’, we know that advocacy simply isn’t enough these days. Not only are we committed to using our platform and influence to insist the brands be more diverse and inclusive, but we are also dedicated to providing the solution to the problem.
“With your support, we are confident that Black Bourbon Society, along with the new vision and mission of Diversity Distilled Inc, will bring forth the necessary change we insist the spirits industry make.”
To keep up with Black Bourbon Society and for more information on how to join, follow them on instagram @blackbourbonsociety and check out their website
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