What is a community? 

I talk about ‘community’ a lot, but I’ve never actually defined it. I know there’s a textbook definition of ‘community’ but there are also definitions of ‘good’ and ‘love’ and other feelings that we know but can’t describe. Feelings, like communities, are unique. They are living, breathing, amorphous things and not uniformly definable outside of academia.

To me, our local coffee community is defined by too many things to even list—it’s non-exhaustive. It’s defined by the café owners who opened their spaces to serve the community. It’s defined by the baristas who smile and educate. It’s defined by us—the local coffee lovers who can’t pick a favorite spot because they are all our favorite spots for different reasons. It’s defined by the way we all lift each other up in our spaces. Our ‘community’ is all of that, and so much more. 

What is the Good Neighbor Alliance?

Our friends and neighbors at Lincoln Lane Coffee in Bates-Hendricks have taken the idea of community to a new level by launching the Good Neighbor Alliance. Under the leadership of Lincoln Center Director Jalen Roseberry, the Good Neighbor Alliance is a creed and a pledge that local coffee shops and other local organizations can take to publicly show that they are showing up for their communities in real ways. 

The Good Neighbor Alliance pledge adheres to a few simple tenets:

Be Generous. Be Ethical. Be Kind. Be Community Minded. Be Peaceful.

We believe in loving your neighbor no matter the circumstances.

We believe the best way to love your neighbors is to know them.

And the best way to know your neighbors is to LISTEN to their different experiences and perspectives, with an open mind and an open heart.

We believe that this process is the key to build a strong community.

As the Indianapolis Coffee Guide, I can’t help but fall in love with all of these statements and the goals of the Good Neighbor Alliance. While ‘community’ doesn’t have a clear definition, this pledge gives a clear picture of actions we should take every day to lift up our community.

How to be a Good Neighbor

If this creed strikes true with you and your organization, it is easy to become a member of the Good Neighbor Alliance. All you have to do is reach out to Jalen, and she’ll take it from there.

The Indianapolis Coffee Guide is a proud member of the Good Neighbor Alliance, and I’m doing a few things on the Coffee Guide to uplift those who have taken the pledge.

The GNA badge is proudly listed in the footer of this website and links directly to the Good Neighbor Alliance pledge. In addition, I have added a small icon to easily identify every coffee shop that has taken the pledge to be a Good Neighbor.

We love Jalen and our friends at Lincoln Lane / Dathouse, and the Good Neighbor Alliance initiative is just one of many ways they are uplifting the local coffee community.