The Independent Wine Education Guild (IWEG) is committed to providing a learning and working environment that recognizes human rights and values, equity, diversity and inclusion in its wine, spirit and sake programs. IWEG stands in solidarity with those who stand up against racism and who speak out against discrimination, injustice and violence targeted at the Black, Indigenous, people of colour (BIPOC) community.
As an organization dedicated to learning, we have a responsibility to educate and reflect the diversity and intersectionality of the communities we serve. IWEG’s Board of Directors has recognized that BIPOC students are currently underserved in wine, spirit and sake education programs and we are taking action to address these inequities.
- IWEG is proud to partner with Vinequity as the national provider of Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and Wine Scholar Guild (WSG) certification programs for their scholarship recipients. To maximize access to learning opportunities, IWEG contributes 50 percent of the WSET and WSG course costs for every Vinequity scholarship recipient.
- IWEG partnered with the Bartenders Benevolent Fund for the BIPOC WSET Level 1 Scholarship to address inequalities and underrepresentation of BIPOC people within the hospitality community across Canada. IWEG provided 10 placements in either the Wine Level 1 Wines or Spirits Level 1 courses in January 2021.
- IWEG partnered with Les Dames d’Escoffier Ontario Chapter to provide a woman of colour a bursary for WSET Level 2 Award in Wines in February 2021.
- IWEG offered a bursary program for Black students in Canada for the academic year September 2020 to June 2021. Seven bursaries were offered to qualifying students for WSET Level 1 Award in Wines, Spirits or Sake and WSET Level 2 Award in Wines or Spirits. This bursary program was made possible through the generous support of an individual donor and All The Right Grapes.
The work does not end here, and we recognize that we have more to learn and do. IWEG is committed to take further action against racism and discrimination and we welcome your participation in these efforts as well.