Greene King and International Slavery Museum announce education partnership

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Better inform choices: 'It is inexcusable that one of our founders profited from slavery and while that was nearly 200 years ago we can’t pretend it didn’t happen,' Greene King chief executive Nick Mackenzie said
Better inform choices: 'It is inexcusable that one of our founders profited from slavery and while that was nearly 200 years ago we can’t pretend it didn’t happen,' Greene King chief executive Nick Mackenzie said

Related tags: Greene king, Social responsibility, Pubco + head office

Suffolk-based brewer and pub operator Greene King will work in tandem with Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum to raise awareness of the historic transatlantic slave trade.

The partnership will see Greene King offer financial support for the National Museums Liverpool’s Black History Month programme throughout October.

What’s more, Greene King’s 38,000 employees will be offered the chance to participate in online workshops on Understanding Transatlantic Slavery while the International Slavery Museum will help the brewer uncover the history of one of the beer maker’s founders, Benjamin Greene.

After founding the brewery in 1799, Greene owned cane sugar plantations in the West Indies where he owned enslaved Africans and profited from their labour. He later campaigned against the abolition of slavery in the 1800s, writing columns in his own newspaper criticising abolitionist campaigns. He was also financially compensated​ when slavery was abolished.

“The move by Greene King to support Black History Month and commit to working with the International Slavery Museum on educational and transformative initiatives is a positive step in the right direction,” Richard Benjamin, head of the International Slavery Museum, said. “Reparative justice must acknowledge past abuses and respond to their continuing legacies.  

“We hope that more institutions and businesses in the UK with the same historical links to slavery can be equally as transparent about their origins. 

“We are therefore pleased to work with Greene King, to share our resources and knowledge, and to help them become a more diverse and inclusive employer, one that can be the model for best business practice.”

Building a more diverse workforce 

The collaboration between Greene King and the International Slavery Museum comes after the brewer and pub operator pledged to increase the percentage of young people from black, Asian and minority ethnic background on its payroll through a new five-year partnership with the Prince’s Trust​ in August.

“There is no place for racism or discrimination anywhere in society and I am proud to be at the beginning of this exciting partnership,” Greene King chief executive Nick Mackenzie said while announcing the brewer's latest partnership.

“We’re working hard to build a more inclusive and diverse workforce with increased opportunities for people from minority ethnic backgrounds, but equally we don’t want to lose sight of the past.

“It is inexcusable that one of our founders profited from slavery and while that was nearly 200 years ago we can’t pretend it didn’t happen. We want to educate and work with the International Slavery Museum to learn more about the past and better inform our choices for the future.”

Greene King has also established a race diversity group to sit alongside its LGBT and women’s staff networks in recent months as well as implementing a ‘comply or explain’ diversity target with its partner recruitment agencies and launched a data gathering exercise among its 38,000-strong workforce to better understand its ethnic makeup.

Related topics: Greene King

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