Pogue’s Run Grocer is in the midst of a racial controversy surrounding the leadership and practices of the store.
The locally owned establishment is facing a slew of allegations of discrimination; including deliberately only appealing to “middle class white neighborhoods and customers, skipping over immediate neighbors”, and “discrimination and harassment” against a local community member who presented a plan for Pogue’s to add food assistance programs for low income women and children.
Mat Davis, a former board member of Pogue’s Run Grocer Community Co-Op, leveled the allegations against the store this past week on social media. He has continued to follow up with updates — and the apparent indifference the grocery store is showing towards the allegations.
Davis stated that he reached out to the Board President of Pogue’s and expressed his claims of potential harassment, who later resigned. While speaking to the transition team of the upcoming board president, he states he was told there would be “cultural sensitivity training”, but no action taken against the employee accused of harassment.
After further reaching out to the Civil Rights Commission, followed by local media, all outlets expressed that they had no alternative options to assist Davis in resolving the situation.
Davis states that this was followed by increasingly hostile and threatening — often racist — comments directed at him by community members associated with Pogue’s. This climaxed with a email this week to Davis notifying him of his immediate removal from the board of Pogue’s Community Co-Op.
In response, Davis is requesting a public apology and reinstatement to the board before following up with what he calls further documentation of harassment.
“Pogue’s Run should take everyone’s concerns very serious especially since they made so many personal attacks and spread several lies. It seems (they) don’t care about the community at all but as soon as our requests are passed by the members; they will.” said Davis.
This has culminated in a community petition to trigger a special board meeting to resolve the issue. The petition is already halfway towards reaching its goal of signatures.
If you would like to support Davis, a link to the change.org petition can be found at this link.