Houston's oldest craft brewery has made a substantial donation to a local non-profit. Saint Arnold Brewing Company gave $40,000 to the Center for Urban Transformation's Juvenile Justice Diversion program.
CUT will use those funds to further its goal of "[breaking] the school-to-prison pipeline and [cultivating] a culture of compassion," according to a release. Funds will be allocated for case management, workshops on conflict resolution, and other initiatives.
“The CUT program serves youth who are deemed at-risk or are arrested on a Fifth Ward school campus,” Reverend Harvey Clemons, CUT board chair and founder, said in a statement. “Instead of going through the juvenile justice system and potentially receiving a criminal record that adds barriers to accessing future opportunities, youth are diverted to CUT for case management, mentorship, and restorative justice services based in the community."
The brewery raised the funds by participating in the nationwide Black is Beautiful program. Started in San Antonio by Marcus Baskerville, owner and head brewer of Weathered Souls Brewing, the program encouraged breweries across the country to brew a stout and contribute the proceeds to organizations that promote racial justice. Approximately 20 Houston-area breweries participated, each putting their own spin on the base recipe.
“Being a part of the Fifth Ward community means not just working here but also investing in local organizations and the people who live and work here,” Saint Arnold founder and head brewery Brock Wagner added. “We are serious about inclusivity and social justice and are donating 100 percent of our proceeds from our Black is Beautiful specialty beers to The Center for Urban Transformation for the next few years.”
Founded in 2019, CUT develops programs that help Fifth Ward residents overcome poverty, racism, and other inequities. Other programs involve improving educational opportunities and access to health care for the neighborhood's residents.