We had to say a very, very tearful goodbye to the heart and soul of the Modern Times Coffee program, Bartleby Bloss. He was quite literally the human embodiment of our motto, “be excellent to each other”; a passionate, humble, intensely kind person, artist, dog enthusiast, musician, Chicagoan, social justice advocate, and former treehouse resident.
Bartleby was the inaugural hire of the coffee department in 2015, and--fueled by an unwavering belief in and vision for the program and the team--built Modern Times Coffee into what it is. His love for coffee, for mentoring everyone around him, and for pushing the boundaries of what a coffee company could--and should be--will continue to inspire us every day. This infectious love and dedication has benefitted countless people inside and outside of the roastery; apart from being a great person to be around, Bartleby spearheaded donation initiatives in the coffee program and spent many hours outside of work supporting the community.
Though sometimes illusive and definitely camera-shy, he was always there to help in any way he could and consistently put the needs of others above his own. Our hearts are with everyone that was touched by this incredible human being, and now, we say Rest In Power, Bartleby; a statement of solidarity and a call to continue the struggle for social justice. No justice, no peace.
In lieu of flowers, those closest to Bartleby have asked to instead give to one of the causes he so fiercely believed in. Those organizations are listed below, along with a GoFundMe that benefits his partner.
Some words to live by:
Make art, make music, write.
Ride your bike.
Support local farms, shop at farmers markets, find fruit trees in your neighborhood.
Start a garden, learn to grow your own food, share what you can.
Support your friends. If they make art, buy it. If they make music, go to every show you can. If they write something, read it. If they are sick, bring them dinner.
Support your community and trust that they will support you.
Read. Be open to teach and remain open to be taught.
Rest. Guilt-free, no productivity. Rest. "Lazy is best, you need rest".
Get involved. Help however and whoever you can.
We want to take apart, dismantle, tear down the structure that, right now limits our ability to find each other, to see beyond it and to access the places that we know lie outside its walls.
-The Undercommons - Fugitive Planning & Black Study (Stefano Harney & Fred Moten)